Have you been hearing more about gum disease lately? There’s a good reason for this; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that nearly half of US adults over the age of 30 have some level of gum disease. If you’re over 65, the rate jumps to 70 percent.
Gum infections are a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks your gums and the structures that support your teeth. If gum disease isn't treated by your Birmingham dentist in its earliest stages and is allowed to advance, it can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal Disease and the Oral-Systemic Link
However, it’s not just an oral health problem; mountains of research indicates that there’s also a cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Our mouths are filled with millions of bacteria at any given moment, and if you don’t brush and floss thoroughly, they sit on your teeth and collect around the gum line, causing a gum infection.
But as critical as it is to control gum disease to protect your oral health, there’s also another vital reason to keep your mouth clean and free of disease. In recent years, numerous studies link the presence of bacteria and chronic oral inflammations to serious physical diseases:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Certain cancers
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pre-term low birth-weight babies
As research continues, it’s likely that this list will keep growing.
Fight Gum Disease with Prevention
Studies indicate that men and smokers are more likely to develop gum disease, but anyone who doesn’t maintain healthy oral habits is at risk. One of the ways you can minimize your risk of gum disease is with preventive dentistry.
Your dentist recommends six-month dental visits for a reason; periodic checkups give them the opportunity to monitor your gum health and stay a step ahead of gum disease. During these visits, your dental team will also be happy to answer your questions about oral hygiene and provide the support you need to manage your own oral health.
Call Us and We’ll Help You Maintain a Healthy Smile
Call Cook Family Dental if it’s time for your next dental exam and cleaning. If we find you need gum disease treatment in Birmingham, AL, Dr. Aaron Cook and our hygiene team will create a plan to treat and eliminate it and leave you with a healthier smile.