There is an oral health issue that will affect more than 50 percent of all Americans. It can cause extensive tooth loss and be quite painful. It’s gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
Our Highlands Ranch Colorado dental office has been on high-alert over gum disease for the past several years. We’ve seen this disease claim countless teeth and cause major oral health and overall health problems. But we’ve also learned how to treat and manage your gum disease using nonsurgical methods. Our incredible staff is trained to spot problems early and educate you about great at-home care. Give us a call right now at 720-644-8186.
Today we have a special message for you about how to avoid gum disease, the signs of gum disease, and the risks of leaving gum disease untreated.
The Hard Facts About Gum Disease
Gum disease is a problem that many people associate with older adults. It’s true that seniors (those 65 and older) are more susceptible to gum disease, but anyone can struggle with gum disease. Here are a few facts about gum disease that you shouldn’t ignore.
- It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults — It’s gum disease, not dental trauma or even cavities, that claims the most teeth.
- The disease can destroy the gums AND bone — The infection first attacks the gums, but if left untreated, the infection will begin attacking and eroding the bone. This is what causes the teeth to become loose.
- About 50 percent of Americans will get gum disease — Nearly half of all adults in Americans will suffer from gum disease, including more than 70 percent of seniors, according to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- You can have gum disease without even knowing it — The first signs of gum disease is often bleeding or swollen gums, but these are not the only signs.
- It’s not always curable — The early stages of gum disease is treated and even curable. But advanced gum disease, periodontitis, is not curable. Those with periodontitis should visit the dentist at least once every three to four months to monitor their gums and receive the necessary treatment.
- It’s linked to serious problems like heart disease and diabetes — While there is no cause-and-effect relationship, we know that those with gum disease face a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The Best Defense Against Gum Disease
Much like dental decay, the best defense against gum disease comes from you. This is why we encourage everyone to brush twice a day and floss daily. This is an old piece of life, but it’s worth repeating because not everyone practices good at-home oral hygiene. A study by the American Dental Association found that only seven out of 10 Americans brush twice a day and just four out of 10 Americans floss at least once every day.
Not flossing is a recipe for disaster, as you’re not cleaning the area of the tooth beneath the gum line. About 35 percent of the tooth — the root — is located under the gum line. Just like the crown of the tooth, the root of the tooth can be attacked with bacteria and harmful acids. Most of our patients with gum disease have tartar buildup below the gum line.
In our office, we can treat gum disease with advanced root planing and scaling. This is a simple process of removing the harmful bacteria and tartar from beneath the gum line. We then use antibiotics on the gums as a deterrent the infection from returning.
Brushing and flossing aren’t the only ways to prevent gum disease. We’ve found that people with straight teeth are at a lower risk of getting cavities or gum disease. That’s one of the major reasons we’re offering orthodontic treatments for patients of all ages. Orthodontic treatments make your teeth easier to clean, and that’s not all! A good, balanced bite reduces the risk of problems like tooth chips or fractures.
Find Your Next Dental Home
Our office and dentists have been treating gum disease for years. We never miss a chance to educate our patients about the importance of a great smile — and keeping their teeth forever. We’d love to sit down with you and discuss your smile. Give us a call today at 720-644-8186 or use the online form to book a visit.