As evidence mounts linking gum disease to other serious conditions such as heart disease and even premature birth among pregnant women, dentists and hygienists have been highlighting the importance of maintaining the health of the gums. Not only is it critical to brush and floss twice daily at home, patients are strongly encouraged to undergo professional dental cleanings to prevent or alleviate inflammation of the gums (“gingivitis”). Otherwise, if left untreated, gum disease may lead to a more serious condition, chronic periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease can result in bone and tooth loss. In addition, research indicates that periodontitis also increases the risk of developing head and mouth cancers, especially in the mouth and throat.
P.S. According to the research mentioned above, each millimeter loss of alveolar bone (the ridge of bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth) increases the risk of head and neck cancer fourfold.