New statistics show that one in two American adults, approximately 65 million people, suffers from gum disease, making it more common than Type I or Type II diabetes. Despite the prevalence of periodontal disease, however, many patients still don't practice proper dental hygiene or seek periodontal care as needed. “Many people don’t know that periodontal disease is so common and often
overlooked,” said Stuart J. Froum, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), clinical professor and director of clinical
research at New York University’s Department of Periodontics and Implant
According to the AAP, gum disease can manifest in a variety of symptoms:
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that form plaque
below the gum line. There are more than 500 bacterial species that can
be found in plaque, and brushing alone does not remove the bacteria that
live below the gum line. Poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of
periodontal disease, but smoking is also a significant risk factor in
the development and progression of the disease. While periodontal
disease is mostly preventable and treatable, the early warning signs can
be painless, leading to a lack of urgency in people to establish
adequate oral hygiene habits or to discuss their periodontal health with
a dental professional.
However, with proper oral care under the supervision of a periodontist, the damage caused by periodontal disease may be reversed for some patients.
In order to help Americans assess their risk for gum disease and identify some ways they may prevent periodontal deterioration, the AAP has developed a new interactive tool. Love the Gums You're With features a variety of information including Gums 101, an informative page containing a quiz to assess your risk for gum disease, and Why a Perio?, an informative page about the importance of periodontal care.
For more information about gum disease and its prevention, visit the AAP's website or schedule a consultation with Dr. Walsh at 708.749.4080.
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