Are You at Risk for Periodontal Disease?

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed that nearly 1 in 2 Americans over age 30 have periodontal disease, or a total of 65 million people.

Periodontal disease is actually the results of untreated gingivitis: when bacteria caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar creates gum inflammation. When left unchecked, periodontal disease not only causes inflammation, it also causes gums to pull away from the teeth and create infected ‘pockets’, while the bone and connective tissue starts to break down.

How do I know if I have Periodontal Disease?

The most common symptom of periodontal disease is red or swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. Other warning signs include constant bad breath, painful chewing, teeth that are sensitive or loose, and receding gums.

Risk factors

The same CDCP study has also shown that in the U.S., periodontal disease is more common among ethnic minorities, in individuals living below the poverty level, and those with less than a high school education. Research has suggested that there is a significant link between periodontal disease and heart disease, breast cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Below are the major risk factors for developing periodontal disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Medications that reduce the flow of saliva
  • Heredity
  • Poor diet/nutrition
  • Smoking or substance abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes in women and girls
  • Poor oral health habits

So what’s the best way to prevent periodontal disease?

Consistent preventative care. One particularly important part of dental maintenance is to receive regular teeth cleaningsZendyHealth can help you save 20-90% on the retail cost. Use a toothbrush that’s soft enough to clean without irritating your gums, and invest in a good electric toothbrush to really get rid of plaque and tartar. Brush after each time you eat, and floss daily.

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