By now, most people understand that seeing a dentist at least twice a year ranks as a great practice for protecting their long-term oral health. Regular dental visits help keep your teeth cavity-free by removing built up tartar from the surface of your teeth, and by giving your dentist the chance to spot the signs of decay before serious damage occurs. What’s less clear, however, is when you should schedule to see a Portland periodontist.
Approximately 65 million Americans suffer from gum disease – a condition also referred to as periodontitis -, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of the disease include bleeding, tender, red or swollen gums; loose teeth; and a receding gum line. If you suffer from these symptoms, you need to schedule a visit with a periodontist – a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum disease – in addition to your annual dental visits.
Even though periodontal disease poses a significant oral health threat, the disease is treatable – and often reversible – with the proper care. If need to see a periodontist, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Know the cause of your oral health problems. Practicing poor oral hygiene ranks as the primary cause in the development of gum disease. Over 500 different species of bacteria are found in oral plaque, which furthers illustrates why you need to brush and floss regularly. Removing harmful bacteria from your mouth is the best practice for lowering your risk of gum disease.
Understand your risk. While brushing and flossing play a major role in determining your risk of gum disease, genetics also plays a factor. Some people are simply genetically predisposed to have an elevated risk of gum disease. Lifestyle choices can also elevate your risk, as stress, poor diet, obesity, prescription medications, age and smoking are all known risk factors for gum disease.
Know when to go. The website perio.org offers a free “Gums 101” quiz that lets you evaluate the overall health of your gums, learn the most prevalent symptoms and signs of gum disease and teaches you tips on how to care for your gums. The website also allows you to search for an available Portland periodontist in your neighborhood.
Understand when to go. The American Association of Periodontists recommends adults receive a yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluation to help lower the risk of periodontitis. Receiving regular examinations only increases in importance the older we become. Seniors have a greater risk of suffering permanent tooth loss, and need to remain more diligent about their gum health compared to adults under the age of 60.
Gum disease can damage not only the health of your teeth and gums, but your overall health, as well. New studies continue to find compelling links between gum disease and a number of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even some forms of cancer. Fortunately, periodontal disease is treatable. Don’t take the unnecessary risk of delaying treatment, schedule an appointment with Portland Periodontics to see Portland periodontist Dr. David Goldwyn today!