The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that the first symptoms of gum diseases have been found in the United States, but not everyone is convinced that this will be the first indication of disease.
According to the CDC, the disease is more likely to appear in people who are exposed to contaminated or expired gum.
The first signs of gum illness appear in late June, when people begin to experience a stiff neck, cough, fever, loss of appetite, and/or weight loss.
The CDC also warns that there is a 10 percent chance of developing a chronic gum disease if exposed to a fresh or expired version of gum.
Gum diseases can occur after chewing gum that has been opened and/inhaled, or in someone who has recently eaten a piece of gum or someone who drinks alcohol.
In addition to the possible cases of gum problems, people with chronic gum diseases may have other symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, fatigue, loss or change in bowel movements, and increased sensitivity to light.
A person who has been exposed to the infectious disease of choice may also develop a toothache or swelling in the gum.
People with a chronic disease of the gums will be at increased risk for complications from the disease, including heart disease, stroke, and death.
People are also advised to avoid touching or eating gum for at least 48 hours, or the disease may cause other problems.
In an effort to educate people about the disease and the risk of developing it, the CDC will be holding a public health awareness campaign, “Gum Health,” that will begin on Tuesday, June 16 at 6 p.m.
ET and run through Thursday, June 18 at 7 p.M.
The campaign will feature educational videos on topics such as the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, and what to do if you think you have gum disease.