Did you know that almost half of all Americans suffer from a disease that could lead to tooth loss, bone and tissue damage—even diseases throughout the entire body?
It’s true. A 2010 CDC study estimated that 47.2% of all American adults—that’s 64.7 million people—have some form of gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Many of them don’t even know it.
Put simply, periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums, brought on by a bacteria-rich, sticky biofilm called plaque that is constantly forming on teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, the body starts to treat the tooth like it would a foreign object. Bacteria prevalent in the plaque break down and release toxins that further destroy teeth and the surrounding tissue.
The process perpetuates without professional intervention, leading to a host of problems like loose or missing teeth, gray gums, bone damage and tissue erosion. Periodontal disease can even prompt or complicate other, non-dental diseases that affect the entire body.
Perhaps most alarming is that gum disease is difficult to detect by the average person. Periodontal disease is usually painless, meaning most people won’t seek treatment until they have visible symptoms like gray gums or gum recession—which is a major reason it continues to be among the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
What Can Bash Dental Do?
The statistics are alarming, but there’s good news. If detected early, gum disease is reversible— which is why it’s vital to see your dentist regularly. Gum disease can only be detected via a comprehensive dental exam performed by a dentist or hygienist. Once the disease begins, your dental professional is the only one who can halt and reverse its progress.
Our philosophy with gum disease is vigilance. We screen for periodontal disease during every routine exam. If found, we identify the stage of its progression—mild, moderate or severe. Once diagnosed, we create a personalized treatment plan to provide the appropriate intervention to arrest or halt the progression in order to avoid tooth loss and disease.
Only the most severe cases of gum disease call for surgical periodontal therapy. Treatments vary from person to person, but in most cases, surgery is unnecessary. One common non-surgical treatment is scaling and root planing, sometimes called periodontal cleaning or deep cleaning. This involves numbing the mouth, then scraping away plaque from the tooth and its root. Your dentist may prescribe medicated rinses afterward to continue disinfection.
In the case of advanced periodontitis that has caused bone and tissue damage, surgery may be required. Surgical treatments for the condition can include periodontal pocket elimination to bone augmentation. It doesn’t matter whether your gum disease is just beginning or in its advanced stages—we can help you with a personalized treatment plan,
Only your dentist can halt and reverse the effects of gum disease, but preventing it from developing or returning starts with you.
Follow this simple maintenance plan to keep your gums disease-free:
Brush twice a day, for two minutes at a time. Your brush should have soft bristles and get replaced regularly.
Floss twice a day as well, in a gentle up and down motion. Make sure you floss the space between the gums and teeth, as this is where bacteria is prone to breed.
Eat a balanced diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables will aid in your tooth, gum and bone health. Sugary drinks and processed foods can hasten bacteria growth.
Don’t smoke—and if you do, quit. Smoking greatly increases your risk of gum disease. Stay away from other recreational drugs, as well.
Schedule regular dentist visits. Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year will remove plaque build-up and catch gum disease in its early stages.
Are you Gum Disease-Free?
You don’t have to be one of the millions of people with gum disease. If you’re not 100% sure—and you won’t be unless you’ve visited the dentist recently—call Bash Dental today for a cleaning. We’ll screen for disease, diagnose any problems and create a personalized plan for healthy, happy gums and teeth for life.