Many people believe that the worst things about gum disease are bad breath and the possibility of losing their teeth. However, gum disease can result in far worse problems. For example, people with gum disease are three times more likely to have heart problems and twice as likely to have a stroke compared to people that have healthy gums. Gum disease may also worsen respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis, and most recently has even been linked to a higher risk for cancer.
The main culprits for gum disease are failure to regularly practice good oral hygiene as well as foods that contain lots of sugar and processed foods. Good oral hygiene includes regular brushing with a fluoride free toothpaste or cleanser and regular flossing. Besides brushing and flossing, regular use of a water irrigator to clean the teeth and gums and stimulate blood flow is also highly recommended.