The most common disease in the United States is not what you may think. Heart disease, stroke, or cancer come to mind, but actually gum disease is the single most prevalent disease in America. In fact, it affects more people than heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and cancer combined. About 80% of the population has some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
What is Gum Disease?
The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. A small v-shaped crevice called a sulcus is formed between the gum line and where the tissue attaches to the tooth. In healthy teeth, this space is usually three millimeters or less.
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support the teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that is greater than three millimeters. These deeper pockets make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene, allowing harmful bacteria to grow and damage the tissue and bone. Left untreated, periodontal disease may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Why is Gum Disease so Serious?
Tooth loss is not the only potential problem posed by periodontal disease. Research indicates that there may be a link between periodontal diseaseand other health concerns such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are trying to determine if bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease play a role in affecting these systemic diseases and conditions.
It makes perfect sense, though – periodontal inflammation linked to overall health. The mouth is like a portal to the body. Everything that enters or is present in the mouth has access to the rest of your body. That’s why regular checkups and hygiene visits are vital to not only your oral health, but also your overall health.
Our doctors and dental hygienists can detect early warning signs of gum disease at your regular dental checkups. At this stage, prevention might be as simple as changing your brushing technique, improving your flossing routine, or changing the products you use for oral care at home. We provide the following services to help treat gum disease and maintain your oral health:
- Dentrix Digital Charting and Diagnostic Services
- Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy and Maintenance
- Antibiotic Treatment with Arestin
- Diagnostic Saliva Testing
We may also recommend more frequent hygiene visits so that your dentist or hygienist can monitor your condition and make sure that your periodontal health is stable.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you would like to prevent gum disease and improve your oral health, contact Expressions Dental today.