Resolve to Get a Grip on Periodontal Disease in 2019
The start of a new year is always a good time to consider what actions you can take to improve your health. As we get into gear with 2019, the dental-care experts at southwest Florida’s Island Tower Dentistry suggest that you may want to consider getting a grip on periodontal disease, the most prevalent oral health disorder in America. Not only do about half of all Americans have some form of the disorder, also commonly referred to as “gum disease,” but it is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Its prevalence is even more pronounced in older Americans, with about 70 percent of those older than 65 estimated to have the disease.
The benefits of controlling gum disease may go far beyond just preserving your teeth and protecting your oral health. Researchers have found a definitive link between periodontal disease and other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some sexual health disorders. While this link isn’t fully understood yet, researchers believe the periodontal-related inflammation serves as the basis for the links, with the inflammation of one exacerbating the condition of the others.
What Exactly is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by the body’s natural response to harmful bacteria in the mouth. In the early stages of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, bacteria in the mouth that is not removed on a regular basis by daily brushing, flossing and professional cleaning forms a sticky film on surfaces in the mouth and below the gum line. Known as dental plaque, it starts causing inflammation of the gums as it builds up, with the inflammation in turn causing swelling, tenderness, and bleeding along the gum line. When left untreated, the gums start pulling away from the teeth and supporting gum tissues are compromised by the bacteria and inflammation. In more advanced cases, known as periodontitis, gum tissue and bone structure erodes, and the teeth may loosen, and eventually fall out, or otherwise have to be removed.
While heredity plays a distinct role in the incidence of periodontal disease, there are numerous risk factors that can make people more prone to getting it, such as:
- medications that cause dry mouth
- improper fitting bridges
- hormonal changes relating to pregnancy or oral contraceptives
- crooked teeth
- immune system disorders
Treating Periodontal Disease
Daily brushing and flossing, along with professional cleaning and checkups, are the most effective means for keeping gingivitis under control. For more advanced stages of periodontal disease, professional dental treatments such as deep cleaning below the gum line, antibiotics, and corrective surgery may be needed for effective control.
If you smoke, quitting the habit is one of the most effective things you can do to help control periodontal disease. Researchers have determined that smokers are almost three times more likely to get periodontal disease than those who have never smoked.
Island Tower Dentistry Is Here to Help Your Hygiene
The dental-care experts at Island Tower Dentistry are dedicated to maintaining your dental health and are well practiced in treating patients with periodontal disease. Whether early onset gingivitis or later-stage periodontitis, we can help you arrest and control gum disease. To learn more about how the Island Tower team can help you stave off the ravages of periodontal disease, or address any other oral health concern, contact us today at 239-394-1004 to make an appointment!