According to a Center For Disease Control (CDC) study, around 65 million or 47% of Americans have periodontal disease currently.
That means 1 out of every 2 adults over 30 years old has the disease. When you look at the elderly population >65 years old, rates increase to around 70% has periodontal disease.
So what exactly is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease. “Peri” means around and “odontal” means the teeth. So it is a disease that affects the gums and the support bone around the teeth (jawbone).
The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which affects just the gums themselves.
Then the disease progresses and starts to affects all tissue surrounding the tooth. Eventually it can lead to tooth loss.
The main culprit behind the development in periodontal disease is bacteria from plaque.
Also come to find out, periodontal disease is linked to other health complications like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disease.
If your gums are constantly bleeding from brushing your teeth, is an early sign that you need to see your dentist.
What can you do to prevent periodontal disease?
Well, the obvious and most effective thing you can do is brush your teeth 2-3 times daily and floss a minimum of once daily.
Also rinsing your mouth with and anti-septic mouthwash daily can help with preventing and reducing plaque buildup.
Seeing your dentist regularly every 4-6 months (side note: if you can regular bleeding of your gums during brushing, see your dentist immediately).
Remember the build-up of plaque leads to more bacteria, that leads to inflammation, that leads to periodontal disease.
Other health factors you need to consider are:
- Smoking & tobacco use: the longer you smoke the greater the risk of the gum disease due to the fact that smokers collect more tarter and plaque on their teeth.
- Crowded, misaligned, bad teeth: the more crooked, crowded, and misaligned your teeth that harder it is to floss and to get into the crevasses where plaque and tater is.
- Grinding and clenching of your teeth: causes irritation and inflammation of the gums, which can worsen existing periodontal disease.
- Stress: Will weaken your immune system, which can make it harder to treat periodontal disease.
- Medications: certain medications (blood pressure and depression) can increase your risk of periodontal disease. Specifically ones that cause dry mouth. Dry mouth leads to an increase in plaque build-up.
- Poor diet: a diet high in processed foods and sugar leads to poor overall health, which leads to a weaker immune system and poor dental health.
As mentioned early, periodontal disease can lead to tooth (teeth loss). You may then require dental implants salt lake city to correct the problem, which can sometimes be costly and uncomfortable procedure.
So make sure you are brush and flossing DAILY.