Swollen and painful gums are symptoms of periodontal disease, an inflammatory gum disease. At Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we see patients every day who complain about pain and discomfort.
Swelling of the gums occurs from an auto-immune response of the body reacting to an infection. Infections are noticeable through pain, redness, and warmth. If the infection is left untreated, it can affect the bone near the teeth. The body’s immune system wants to rid the bone of the dangerous material the bacteria is creating. Over time, bone loss will occur.
Inflammation in the gums also is associated with atherosclerosis, the occurrence of fatty deposits inside of the body’s arteries. Inflammation coincides with an increase of the blood protein CRP (C-reactive protein), produced by the liver. The more inflammation there is, the more the liver produces CRP. The more CRP present, the more likely cardiovascular disease is present, along with related problems. CRP production is also related to arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and intestinal problems.
If inflammation is left untreated, gums can develop pockets that provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. The longer the infection persists, the more likely bone loss will develop, eventually causing tooth loss.
All of this underscores the importance of flossing and brushing at home, every single day. At Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we offer complete family and restorative dentistry. We serve satisfied patients in Mt. Vernon and Alexandria. Contact us today!