We’ve said it before: gum disease is the epidemic nobody’s talking about. One of the most common effects of gum disease is gum recession, or the loss of tissue along the gumline. While it’s most commonly the result of gum disease, over-vigorous brushing or the natural aging process can also contribute.

In today’s post we’ll talk more about how gum recession can affect your health — from your appearance to the wellness of entire organ systems. Then we’ll review how Blodgett Dental Care can help treat gum disease without painful and invasive surgery.

Warning signs to watch for

Gum disease and gum recession can present with a variety of symptoms. Do you find yourself noticing:

  • Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums?
  • Teeth that appear longer than normal?
  • Unexplained bad breath or dry mouth?
  • Teeth that feel loose in their sockets?
  • Teeth that are very sensitive to extreme temperatures?

If so, talk to an expert gum disease dentist as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did!

Cosmetic concerns

How we look affects how we feel. You may first begin to notice the effects of gum recession in how you perceive your smile and this can affect your self-confidence, relationships with others, and even how you’re treated in the workplace. Be on the lookout for:

  • Longer teeth – As your gums recede, more of the tooth’s root may become visible when you smile. This can give your teeth an unnatural and unsightly “long” look.
  • Bleeding gums – The more inflamed your gums become due to gum recession and gum disease, the more likely they will bleed at even a light touch, like when eating, for example.
  • Halitosis – Bad breath is a common sign of gum disease and gum recession. You may feel nervous or self-conscious about bad breath. Using Listerine or other alcohol-based mouthwashes can exacerbate the problem, causing dry mouth and further gum recession.

Dental health issues

Beyond cosmetic problems with your smile, gum recession and gum disease can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. Left untreated, some of these problems are irreversible, making it paramount that you see treatment as soon as possible.

  • Increased decay – You only get one set of teeth — protect them! When gums recede, your teeth are at higher risk of cavities and decay. They may be more sensitive, making brushing and flossing painful. This just leads to a vicious and never ending cycle of poor cleaning habits and further decay and pain.
  • Bone loss – Also known as resorption, bone loss is irreversible. When gums recede, gum disease and advanced infection can increase your risk of bone loss and permanent damage to your mouth.
  • Advanced gum disease – When left untreated, gum recession can progress and lead to advanced gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis.
  • Tooth sensitivity – As gums recede and the root of the tooth is exposed, extreme tooth sensitivity is common. You may experience pain when eating or drinking hot and cold foods and beverages.
  • Dry mouth – Painful dry mouth is a common side effect of gum recession and gum disease. Often, attempts to cure bad breath or soothe sensitive teeth with alcohol-based mouth rinses just lead to more dry mouth and more pain.

Whole body health effects

Perhaps most worrisome of all are the whole body health effects that can result from untreated gum disease and gum recession. Your mouth is a gateway to your body and bacteria that enter through bleeding gums can lead to disease and infection in the heart, lungs, and other vital organs.

  • Heart attacks and heart disease – Research shows that untreated, gum disease is directly linked to heart disease and potentially deadly heart attacks.
  • Diabetes – According to some estimates, nearly 10% of the adult population suffers from diabetes or prediabetes. Gum disease is both an early indicator of diabetes and a cause of diabetic complications.
  • High blood pressure and stroke – Bacterial buildup in your veins can lead to dangerously high blood pressure and even strokes.
  • Alzheimer’s diseaseRecent research shows that the inflammation caused by gum disease may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Chronic inflammatory response – Perhaps most dangerous of all — and least understood — is the stress that continued inflammatory response puts on your body. When your body is under attack from bacteria, it mounts an immune response to fight off the infection. This places stress on the body and you can become more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and ailments due to a fatigued immune system. And it can all start with untreated gum disease.

Did you know…

Dr. Blodgett is one of the most credentialed and experienced gum disease dentists in the entire Pacific Northwest.

He learned Dr. Chao’s Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation method from the inventor of the procedure, John Chao himself and has helped thousands of people improve their gum health without painful surgery.

Reverse gum recession and take control of your health

At Blodgett Dental Care in Portland, we use the latest in high-tech gum recession treatments. Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is a non-surgical procedure that’s both scalpel-free and suture-free. In just one treatment (usually less than 90 minutes in length), you’ll see immediate cosmetic improvements in your smile and have healthier, stronger gums, too.

When treating your gum recession, Dr. Blodgett:

  • Makes a tiny hole with a needle in the gum tissue
  • Uses specially designed instruments to gently guide gums over the receded part of the tooth
  • Because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure, you’ll recover fast and experience minimal pain, swelling, and bleeding

Are you suffering from gum recession? In pain? Worried about how your whole body health might be suffering. You owe it to yourself to learn more about Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.

Schedule your consultation at Blodgett Dental Care today. We’re here to help.