Critical for oral – and overall – health
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults, posing as much as, if not more of, a risk to your oral health than tooth decay. It is also connected to systemic health issues including diabetes, heat disease, stroke, and more. Plus, it can create a vicious cycle of poor overall health. Imagine trying to eat the nutritious foods that you need to stay healthy when your teeth are loose, missing, or painful.
According to a CDC report on the prevalence of periodontitis in the United States…
- nearly half (47.2%) of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, and
- 1% of adults aged 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases result primarily from infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround your teeth. It is important to address early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis, before it progresses to more serious periodontitis, which puts you at risk for both tooth and bone loss – and a prematurely aged appearance.
The Progression Of Gum Disease
- Every day, plaque – an invisible sticky film made up from oral bacteria, starches, and sugars – forms on your teeth. You can remove this at home by brushing twice a day and flossing between your teeth daily.
- If not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque hardens under your gumline into tartar and continues to collect bacteria, irritating your gums at the tooth. Tartar is so hard that you can’t remove it at home. Only a dental hygienist or dentist can remove it.
- If tartar and plaque are not removed by regular dental cleanings, your gums become inflamed. This is early stage gingivitis. Your gums may bleed when you brush and floss, and they may appear red and swollen.
- Untreated gingivitis can advance to the more advanced periodontitis. Pockets of infection develop, pulling your gums away from your teeth, exposing the sensitive roots, and making your teeth look longer.
- Infection can damage or even destroy the bone and ligaments that hold your teeth tightly in place. Given enough time to progress, tooth loss will occur.
What can you do?
First and foremost, a diligent homecare routine of brushing at least twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily is critical to maintaining excellent oral health. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule based on your individual needs and have regular dental checkups so you can learn about issues early when they are smaller – and easier and less expensive to repair. This helps you keep an eye on your health and receive any education you need to improve your routines. For example, did you know that brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums?
At Batavia Family Dental we create a personalized plan based on your individual oral health needs and work with you to help you achieve your smile goals. When was your last dental visit? Now would be a good time to schedule your next exam. If you are looking for a dentist in Batavia, NY, we are accepting new patients at Batavia Family Dental, conveniently located at 6 Batavia City Centre. We look forward to hearing from you!
Yours in dental health,
Dr. Steve Sokolovskiy