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Can gingivitis cause any complications?

If untreated gum disease can lead to more serious forms of periodontal disease, an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease worsens, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.

It can be hard to know if you have periodontal disease. That's why good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups and periodontal exams are so important.

If you notice swelling and redness in the tissues around your teeth, you may have periodontitis, a form of periodontal disease. Talk to your dentist right away if you notice these symptoms. Periodontitis occurs when plaque by-products lead to the destruction of the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As the disease progresses, pockets form and allow more plaque to collect below the gum line. Tooth roots are exposed and may become at risk for decay and are sensitive to cold and touch. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Unless treated, the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal by a dentist.
Gingivitis can cause more serious conditions, if left untreated. Without treatment, it can progress to periodontitis, a more serious and destructive form of gum disease. Periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and can result in tooth loss. In addition, pregnant women with periodontitis are at increased risk of pre-term birth compared to those with healthy gums.

Continue Learning about Gingivitis

How common is gingivitis?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and can be very common. It causes the gums to ...
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When should I seek immediate care if I have gingivitis?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
In most circumstances, you should not need immediate care if you have gingivitis. Gingivitis is t...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.