Just Say No to Periodontal Disease!

According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one half of all American adults over the age of thirty have periodontal disease. A study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 estimates that 47.2% or 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe Periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more advanced form of periodontal disease: a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In adults age 65 and older, the prevalence rate goes up to 70.1%.

Periodontal disease is a serious problem and if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss as well as other long-term dental health issues. Research has also associated periodontal disease with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to visit the dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings and checkups, and to practice good daily oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing your teeth thoroughly at least twice daily and flossing your teeth thoroughly at least once daily. Your dentist may also recommend an anti-microbial rinse. 

Individuals who smoke are more at risk for developing periodontal disease. Pregnant women and women who are going through hormonal changes may also be more at risk. In addition, taking certain medications that cause “dry mouth” may also place you more at risk for developing periodontal disease.

Mild to moderate cases of periodontal disease may be treated with medications or with a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing). More severe cases of periodontal disease may require oral surgical treatment.

Swollen, bleeding or painful gums are all potential signs of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist today to find out if you have periodontal disease. Failing or delaying to seek treatment will only increase your chances for developing serious dental health problems including tooth loss. You do not have to become a statistic. With good dental hygiene, regular dental care, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, you can just say no to periodontal disease!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental

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