So much focus is put on having clean, cavity-free teeth that some people forget about the importance of the gums when it comes to oral health. To better inform their patients about the need for the best periodontal care, West Orange’s premier dentists at Northfield Dental Group share this blog, which includes some of the most pertinent facts about gum disease.
1. Gum Disease Is Prevalent
The rate at which people have gum disease is much higher than most would guess. Researchers have found that nearly half of all adults 30 and older have gum disease (of varying stages). This data is a worrying indication that people do not take good care of their periodontal health.
2. Gum Disease Gets Worse with Time
Gum disease has stages, gingivitis being the first. In this phase, patients may notice bad breath and red, inflamed gums. When it is not addressed, gingivitis can progress to early periodontitis. Once advanced periodontitis strikes, the gums bleed frequently and can excrete pus. Moreover, teeth sensitivity mounts, making it difficult to chew.
3. Gum Disease Is Treatable
A patient’s first and best line of defense against gum disease is regular brushing and flossing. However, those who have already developed the condition have options to improve their periodontal health. In its earliest stages, periodontitis can be addressed with scaling and root planing. This is a popular treatment that eliminates plaque and tartar underneath the gumline while simultaneously smoothing the tooth roots, which allows the gums to reattach to the teeth. In cases of advanced periodontitis, surgery may be necessary to shrink the bacteria-filled pockets in the gums.
4. Gum Disease Can Result in Lost Teeth
People often associate missing teeth with tooth decay and traumatic accidents. However, statistically speaking, gum disease is a far more common cause of tooth loss. Infected gums slowly pull away from the teeth, thereby weakening the bone and tissue that holds teeth sturdily in place. Once loose, these teeth are liable to fall out or necessitate an extraction.
5. Gum Disease Poses Problems for Overall Health
Those who believe gum disease only affects the mouth are mistaken. It can also seep into the bloodstream and raise the risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and rheumatoid arthritis. Physicians strongly encourage their patients to address any periodontal health issues to better prevent this list of life-threatening conditions.
Have an Expert Dentist Examine Your Periodontal Health
Do you have bleeding gums? Do you want to have a dentist examine and (if need be) treat your gums for better oral health? Let the dentists at Northfield Dental Group help. For an appointment, please call (973) 736-0111.