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One of the most prevalent illnesses we treat in our office is periodontal disease. Since this sickness can do so much destruction to your pearly whites and gums, you should know what causes it and how to thwart it.

Gum disease, also referred to as pyorrhea and periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that causes harm to and threatens your pearly whites when left untreated. The words “gum disease” can apply to different levels of the disease, like gingivitis, periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis.

The effects of gum disease may differ depending on the intensity of the infection. In gingivitis, the gums might swell, bleed and be uncomfortable. In periodontitis, infection and resulting inflammation of the gums will cause bacterial acids-filled pouches to develop around the pearly whites and gums. These pouches of acids can decay and harm the teeth, gums and bones.

Periodontal disease can extend past just the oral cavity. A few scientific studies have found correlations between periodontal disease and heart diseases, diabetes, premature birth, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. These links are perhaps caused by bacteria from the infected gums traveling into the bloodstream and crucial organs. Inflammation in periodontal disease may also be responsible for some of the links to other sicknesses.

By doing the simple things like eating foods lower in sugar, brushing twice a day and flossing once daily, you can hamper your risk of forming gum disease. To keep your chompers strong and gum-disease-free, please schedule your next appointment with our Central Illinois Smiles office in Decatur, Illinois, by calling 217.877.1742 today.