What You Need To Know If You Don’t Want To Lose Your Teeth…

Alice Pickering was in her fifties when she had to have all her teeth pulled. She didn’t have any cavities. In fact, she really had never had any problems with her teeth. So what was the culprit? Gum disease.

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an infection of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. What many don’t know, is that gum disease is THE most prevalent disease in the United States!

It’s estimated that between 74-85% of Americans suffer some degree of gum disease but less than half are aware of it. And because people don’t understand the disease and the new treatments available, only 3 percent of those suffering receive treatment.

Even worse, mounting university research indicates gum disease is a possible precursor to many other chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers and even stillbirths or erectile troubles.

February has been declared National Gum Disease Awareness Month and is intended to help people make lifelong improvements in their health and quality of life by sharing information and spreading awareness of preventing gum disease with simple tools and habit changes.

Although gum disease can be silent (you may have it and not know it), symptoms can include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth.
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating food (your gums should never bleed.)
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth, causing your teeth to look longer than before.
  • Loose or separating teeth.
  • Pus between your gums and teeth.
  • Sores in your mouth.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together.
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures.

To help you prevent gum disease and/or fight it, routinely brush and floss your teeth every day. You should also receive a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation(CPE) every year. A CPE gauges your periodontal health, diagnoses existing disease, assesses risk for disease, and determines any treatment, if needed. The CPE can be performed at your regular check-up by a member of our dental team, including your general dentist, dental hygienist or periodontist.

If you experience any of these symptoms, plan to become pregnant, or have a chronic disease like diabetes, stroke, cardio vascular disease or even arthritis, discuss your symptoms or condition with your dentist. You may have gum disease. If needed, your dental professional can provide you with new treatment options for gum disease that involve little or no pain, short recovery time and are highly effective.

Don’t end up like Alice. Fight gum disease by becoming diligent with your dental health starting today!