Recent findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) suggest that more American adults may have gum disease than previously reported.
This estimate may have been off by as much as 50 percent. This new finding should be a wake-up call If you have not had a complete exam in the last six months. This news affects YOU and your loved ones!
The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the gum attachment and supporting bone that holds your teeth in your mouth. Periodontal diseases are far more common than the common cold: 90% of adults and 30% of children have some form of periodontal disease and 37% have severe forms of the disease. You are far more likely to lose your teeth to periodontal disease than decay. In fact, 60% of all adult tooth extractions are due to periodontal diseases. They have also been linked to a number of medical problems. The risk of developing heart disease is up to 168% greater if you have a periodontal infection. Fatal Coronary Heart Disease is 50% more likely. Strokes are 300% more likely and, for women, pre-term births are 700% more likely. There are also increased risks for diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, periodontal diseases are preventable and treatable.
Because periodontal diseases progress very slowly and usually without pain, they often escape early notice. Traditional tests such as X-Rays, periodontal probing and bleeding only reveal problems after the damage has already occurred. We now know that periodontal diseases are communicable bacterial infections. As saliva is shared through kissing, sneezing, shared utensils, etc., periodontal bacteria could be transmitted among individuals. Because we care about you and your health, we are constantly attending continuing education courses to keep abreast of new research and techniques.
What does this mean to you? It means that we can determine whether you are at risk of losing your teeth to periodontal disease far earlier than was previously possible. Early diagnosis can help you to keep your natural teeth healthy and vital for the rest of your life and reduce the risk of serious medical diseases. During your next visit, we determine whether you have any bacterial infections below your gums. You may even have the chance to see these microorganisms for yourself with a high power, phase contrast video microscope.
You can be justly proud of the training and experience of your dental health team. We pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest advances in modern periodontics. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit.