I’ve written several previously on this blog about reports showing a link between periodontal disease and the risk of a major illness – in one example it was lung cancer. Well, researchers continue to build a growing body of evidence that links gum disease to critical issues in your body, including heart disease and increased potential for a stroke.
So, let’s review a dental basic: What is periodontitis?
Basically, it is a gum infection that can lead to bone loss in the mouth and consequently the loss of a tooth or teeth. If you lose bone density, you won’t have an anchor for a tooth or teeth.
It is a simple formula – bacteria in your mouth forms plaque, which can then harden into tartar on your teeth. The bacteria from the plaque and tartar then lead to periodontal disease and it can go downhill from there.
The good part of this dental basic is that periodontitis is often preventable through good oral hygiene – twice daily brushing with flossing and twice yearly cleanings at your dentist’s office (sometimes more often for those patients with a more advanced case). However easy; it isn’t always accomplished!
The numbers that define periodontitis are just sobering. Here are some as reported by the American Dental Association:
“Over 47 percent of the U.S. adult population aged 30 years and older have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Drilling down (no pun intended), the research also noted that “nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults over age 65 have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease.”
The numbers are based on data from the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES), “which included full-mouth periodontal examinations to obtain more accurate estimates of the prevalence and extent of periodontal disease in the United States.”
So, if you haven’t been on a regular cleaning scheduled with your dentist – don’t waste time! Call today for an appointment. Remember, once pain starts in your mouth the problem has become severe. Many issues can be much more easily treated if caught in an early stage.