The Dangers Of Untreated Gum Disease

Faithfully caring for your oral health is more important than you think. It’s not just about having white teeth. Gum disease can sneak up on you over time, and the inflammation it causes in your body can be detrimental to your health in numerous ways. Pay attention to these dangers of untreated gum disease.

Symptoms And Causes Of Gum Disease

As we go through our daily lives, a substance called plaque made up of bacteria, mucus, and food debris becomes attached to the small spaces between our teeth and gums. If not removed on a daily basis through brushing and flossing, it can become infected. If left untreated, it becomes increasingly more difficult and painful, not to mention, expensive to treat.

Mouth with bleeding gums on a dark background

Symptoms of gum disease are fairly apparent. You will have red swollen gums that are tender and bleed easily, pain when chewing, gums that appear to be pulling away from teeth, loose teeth, and bad breath.

Two Stages Of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease where teeth are red and inflamed. You can treat this stage by yourself through daily brushing and flossing, then regular dental cleanings. You must catch this stage early!

Periodontitis is the more serious stage of gum disease where you can eventually lose your teeth. This is a chronic gum inflammation which can trigger other life-threatening conditions.

Dangers Of Untreated Gum Disease


The connection between gum disease and diabetes is one of the strongest. Gum disease increases the blood sugar levels putting patients at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Those with diabetes have poor healing properties. Those with periodontitis can affect blood glucose control and those with diabetes may be more vulnerable to bacterial infections leading to gum disease.

Heart Disease

Inflammation in your mouth is directly related to inflammation in your heart.

The American Heart Association tells us that patients who live with poor dental hygiene are three times more likely to have heart disease.

Gum disease affects blood pressure and disrupts the effects of hypertension medications as well as increasing the risk of heart attack by 49%.

Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a link to an increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s Disease if you have gum disease. The same bacteria found in gum disease is found in the brain of Alzheimer patients.

Pneumonia And COPD

Infection in your gums triggers your immune system and causes body-wide inflammation. This includes our airways and lungs. COPD, asthma, and pneumonia are all affected by chronic inflammation.


There is a strong association between gum disease and overall cancer risk, especially pancreatic cancer.

Other possible links and associations to gum disease include the following;

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premature birth or low birth weight babies
  • Stroke

Oral health and regular visits to your dentist should be a priority no matter your age or your gender.

Make an appointment with Manhattan Dental Arts in Manhattan’s Upper West Side if you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease. Call (212) 247-2330 or request an appointment online to schedule a visit today.