With 24 hour news networks, it’s pretty easy to get scared. There’s always a panic about something. Be it ebola, or the swine flu, it would seem that there are epidemics everywhere.
But there’s one disease affecting millions of Americans that doesn’t get much press: gum disease.
We normally use this blog to talk about new techniques being practiced in our office, best practices for dental hygiene, and that sort of thing. For this post from the office of Plymouth Dentistry in Plymouth, MI, we’re going to switch gears a little bit. There has been a lot of research performed on gum disease recently, and we’d like to share our thoughts about it with you.
Gum Disease Causes Tremendous Oral Health Problems
Is gum disease an unreported epidemic? The numbers certainly seem to suggest that. More than seventy percent of Americans have suffered from gum disease, or are currently suffering from the disease.
Gum disease, also called periodontitis or periodontal disease in medical terminology, causes more problems than most of our patients realize. Most people know that gum disease makes your gums sensitive, and more likely to bleed.
What they may not know is that it can also cause them to lose teeth, or cause permanent damage to the entire bone structure of their face. As gum disease progresses, it causes infections and can actually be a bigger threat to tooth loss than tooth decay. If not treated early, the problems caused by gum disease can require long procedures to fix.
But beyond losing your teeth, gum disease may be causing further health problems to you as well. According to recent medical studies, a potential link between gum disease and heart disease exists. There are also potential links between gum disease and cancer, strokes, and even diabetes.
The Correlation Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Recently, the American Academy of Periodontology performed a study on the correlation of heart disease and gum disease. The study showed that Americans with gum disease were two times more likely to suffer heart disease later in life, than Americans without gum disease.
Heart disease is most common cause of preventable death in our country. Everyday in the United States, more than two thousand men and women die from a heart attack or other health problem related to heart disease. All told, that’s nearly a million deaths every calendar year.
Other fatal diseases have also been linked to gum disease. Among them is a correlation with the prevalence of gum disease and the development of diabetes. A study from Columbia University took into account lifestyle factors, health, and diet. The study concluded that study participants with gum disease were twice as likely to have diabetes as other adults.
You may argue that correlation between gum disease and other diseases, does not mean that gum disease is causing those diseases. We agree; although more research is being performed one the issue. But doesn’t it make sense to do everything you can to prevent gum disease?
Treating Gum Disease Starts with Detection
Gum disease often shows no symptoms in it’s early stages. That’s why it’s extremely important to visit our office at least twice a year for a regular appointment. During a routine appointment, we will screen you for gum disease.
If we detect gum disease, we can put you on an effective course of treatment. Don’t risk the potential consequences. Click here to make an appointment at the office of Plymouth Dentistry in Plymouth, MI.