Over the years, TV commercials have shared dental statistics to viewers, such as “Four out of five dentists tell their patients to chew sugarless gum.” We all wonder, ‘What the hell was the 5th dentist thinking?’ Although that is a great statistic to share, there is one that is much more important to pay attention to!!
Even here in Bryn Mawr, four out of five adults who are over the age of 35 have some stage of gum disease. Wow! That is pretty frightening!! That is why it is the most common disease for humans (and cats and dogs, as I learned from my favorite Main Line veterinarian, Dr. Royster’s office).
What is gum disease you ask? Periodontal disease or as patients typically know it “gum disease” is when the gum tissues become infected and inflamed due to bacteria in your mouth. Our mouths are a playground for bacteria so periodontal disease isn’t as unrealistic as you might think.
As the gums continue to stay infected, they will start to become red, puffy, and will tend to bleed. The more severe the infection becomes the more damage it will do to your mouth. It can start to eat at the bone that keeps your teeth in place! And to cause even more problems it gives you terrible bad breath, yuck!
The beginning of it is called gingivitis, inflammation of the gums. As it progresses and starts to breakdown the bone and officially becomes known as periodontal disease. That’s the important thing to remember is that you irreversibly lose the bone. Whether you intend to replace the teeth with dentures or dental implants you need the bone for each of them.
More adult patients lose their teeth due to gum disease than from anything else including accidents and cavities. We sometimes refer to it as the “silent killer” because not only does it infect your mouth, but also other parts of your body too!! In recent years, studies have shown that gum disease can be linked with diabetes, heart disease, and many other conditions.
At the beginning stages only we, your dental professionals, are able to detect if it is happening to you. This isn’t horrible for you as a patient since most cases are able to be treated right here in our office! Although we’re here to help this isn’t just about us, you too need to help your mouth out by flossing and brushing properly.
So if are overdue for a dental cleaning and exam give us a call! We want to check your gums and ensure that you are not included in the four out of five statistic!! Call Joanne at 610-525-5497 to set up an appointment today.