It may come as a surprise to many, but your mouth is attached to the rest of your body! For far too long it has been treated as a separate entity that has no connection to your overall health. We are learning more each day about the links between gum health and conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease just to name a few. Chances are you know someone with one of these conditions as heart disease is the number one cause of death in America with stroke and diabetes near the top of the list as well.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is incredibly common. Data from the Centers For Disease Control states that half of adult American’s have periodontal disease. Odds are that you or that person sitting across from you at the dinner table has it. Yikes! So how do you know you have it? Bad breath, loose or shifting teeth, loose gums that pull away from your teeth, red swollen gums and gums that bleed when you clean them are all signs that your gums are not in the best of health, and you could have periodontal disease.
Diagnosing the presence of the disease is not particularly time consuming or uncomfortable and can be done by any general dentist or periodontal specialist. After we look for all of the symptoms listed above, we can then check for bone damage and bleeding using a small type of ruler around each individual tooth. If your dentist or hygienist is not performing these measurements and checking for bleeding, then please go to someone who does!
Treatment for this disease is ongoing. Once you have periodontal disease, it is never cured but rather maintained by frequent visits to your dentist. For those of you with healthy pink gums, a visit to your dentist every six months is usually adequate to maintain maximal oral health. However, those with periodontal disease are recommended three or four visits per year in order to prevent additional bone damage, tooth loss, and a worsening overall health.
If you have not been checked for periodontal disease or have any of the above symptoms, please call Bowie Family Dental at 928.775.8581 to schedule an evaluation.