What Are the Risks of Letting Gum Disease Go Untreated?

Gum Disease Fairfax, VA

Gum disease can lead to severe oral health complications that include the loss of teeth if left untreated for an extended amount of time. If the early symptoms of gum disease start to arise, then it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible for a periodontal assessment and treatment recommendation.

The risks of untreated gum disease

The risks of letting minor gum disease that is in the earlier stages go untreated include the development of periodontitis, deep gum pockets, gum recession, exposure of the tooth roots, and the loss of teeth. 


There are two forms of gum disease, which are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is not as severe, and the risks are not as great. However, periodontitis is far more concerning and often precedes teeth loss if it is left untreated for an extended amount of time. The treatment for periodontitis is also more extensive. In many cases, a dentist may recommend scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line for patients who have developed periodontitis.  

Deep gum pockets

Deep gum pockets occur when the depth in the pockets between teeth worsens. This can lead to loose teeth and leave the roots of teeth exposed. The exposure of the teeth roots can cause increased sensitivity. Deep gum pockets require more extensive treatment as well. If left untreated, deep gum pockets can worsen and contribute to the early loss of teeth. 

Gum recession

Gum recession occurs when the gums start to recede away from the crown of teeth. This is generally caused by a constant attack caused by bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Gum recession, like deep gum pockets, can leave the roots of teeth exposed. In addition, receding gums often cause a cosmetic issue as well. 

Bone loss in the jaw

Bone loss can occur as a result of periodontitis as well. This can cause the early loss of teeth and lead to the need for a bone graft procedure, especially for patients who choose to replace their missing teeth with dental implants. Bone loss in the jaw is hard for patients to detect on their own, and it can generally only be done through the examination of dental X-rays by a dental professional, which is one reason why regular dental check-up visits are important. 

Loss of teeth

The ultimate result of untreated gum disease is often the loss of teeth. This is because the supporting structures of teeth, meaning the gums and underlying jaw bone, weaken and become unable to support teeth any longer. What may start as loose teeth can quickly progress into the loss of multiple teeth. 

Call our dental practice today to arrange a visit

If you would like to learn more about gum disease and how a dentist can treat gum disease in the early stages to prevent more concerning symptoms, then call our dental practice today. Our friendly dental team can answer your initial questions and schedule a time for a consultation visit.

Request an appointment here: https://fairfax.smilemakerscenter.com or call Smile Makers Dental Center at (703) 828-0438 for an appointment in our Fairfax office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Gum Disease in Fairfax, VA.

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