Can You Die From Gingivitis? The Deadliness of Gum Disease

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  • user.pngDr. Todd Bertman
  • calendar-silhouette.png26 Oct

Gingivitis (also known as gum disease) is an extremely common dental problem. Half of American adults suffer from it. But can you actually die from gingivitis?

Learn about the dangers of gum disease and discover the lethal threat of gingivitis that lies beneath the surface.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Poor oral health can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria, causing gum inflammation.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

  • Red or purple gums
  • Tenderness and pain to the touch
  • Bleeding from the gums during brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Soft gums

What Are the Risks of Gum Disease?

Pain and discomfort aren’t the only dangers of gingivitis. If you don’t seek treatment for gum disease, the inflammation will spread.

  • Recurrent gum abscesses (painful collections of pus)
  • Increasing damage to the periodontal ligament (the tissue that connects the tooth to the socket)
  • Increasing damage to and loss of the alveolar bone (the bone in the jaw that contains the sockets of the teeth)
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Loss of teeth

Stages of Untreated Gingivitis

How does gingivitis that starts as merely bleeding gums end up as a deadly infection? Learn what the four stages of gingivitis are, and how it develops if left untreated.

  • Gingivitis: This is the only reversible stage. Bleeding gums are your first symptom. Make sure you commit to a proper oral hygiene routine and visit the dentist twice a year for cleaning to reverse gingivitis.
  • Slight Periodontal Disease: By this stage, gingivitis isn’t reversible. You can only manage your symptoms. The infection in your gums spread to your bones. Bone and tooth loss is a serious risk at this point.
  • Moderate Periodontal Disease: When you have moderate periodontitis the infection has attacked your bones and entered your bloodstream. Scaling and root planing may be necessary to restore your gum’s health.
  • Advanced Periodontal Disease: The final stage of periodontal disease is when the infection contains disease-causing bacteria. This causes your gums to turn red, swell, and fill with pus. Teeth loosen. As a result, chewing and biting will be painful. At this stage, you need periodontal surgery or laser therapy with LANAP.
Gum disease

Can You Die From Gingivitis?

While loose teeth and pain are bad enough, they’re not the worst outcomes of untreated gingivitis.

If you don’t seek treatment for gingivitis, you can even die from it…

As the infection spreads in your body it affects other organs. You may feel pain behind your eye, have trouble breathing, or even suffer from cardiovascular disease as a result of untreated gingivitis.

In some cases, your gingivitis may actually be acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). This type can have especially severe complications. You can develop large ulcers that leave permanent holes in your gums, cause tooth loss, and eventually destroy your gum tissue. 

In rare cases, ANUG can even lead to gangrene. At this point, tissue around your gums, lips, and cheeks die and needs to be removed. 

If your gingivitis exhibits suddenly deteriorating symptoms, it’s crucial to find quick treatment for it.

How to Avoid Gingivitis

While untreated gingivitis can have deadly consequences, avoiding it is relatively easy.

Practicing proper dental hygiene can effectively prevent gingivitis. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Don’t forget to floss hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. And using mouthwash to complement your dental hygiene routine can also help.

And most importantly, visit your dentist twice a year for cleaning and health checkup.

Of course, you can still get gingivitis despite your best effort. If you do notice the usual signs of gingivitis, make sure you contact your dentist for effective treatment. You can avoid tooth loss and even death.

Get Treatment for Gingivitis to Protect Your Health

Your gums should be flat, pink, pain-free. Healthy gums don’t bleed. If you notice any signs of gingivitis, you need to contact your dentist to find appropriate treatment for it.

Luckily, even if your gingivitis spreads to an advanced level, there’s still a way to find pain-free treatment with LANAP.

If you live in Greenwich Village, New York, Advanced Dental Arts is the best place to get your gingivitis treated with LANAP. This laser therapy gives your gums a new chance at natural regrowth. 

Visit Advanced Dental Arts to learn more about treating gum disease and how LANAP can help cure periodontitis and restore your gum tissue naturally.

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