Brushing and flossing teeth not only help prevent periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss, but they also help reduce the risk of serious degenerative diseases. Research shows that, over time, people with periodontal disease are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, and dementia. While a cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and these serious conditions has yet to be established, inflammation (which plays a role in all these conditions) appears to be the link. While it was once believed that oral bacteria directly destroyed gum tissue, it is now known that it is the inflammation caused by these bacteria that destroys tissue. Good oral health prevents gum disease.
P.S. Swollen, bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease.