Periodontal disease is a huge health problem in the US. Since periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other problems, this is a bad sign for more than just the state of American dental health. Part of the reason so many Americans acquire periodontal disease, is because they’re unaware that they have it. Luckily, dental organizations have compiled a list of signs, and symptoms, that signal you may have periodontal disease.
So if you suffer from some of the symptoms listed, it’s high time you made an appointment with your dentist.
Who does Periodontal Disease Affect?
According to the study, Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010, periodontal plagues a huge portion of our population. 47 percent of those studied, or 64.7 million adults over 30 in the US, suffer from periodontitis. That’s a huge segment of our adult population who are at a higher risk of developing a number of preventable diseases, due to issues with their dental health.
There’s a number of risk factors like smoking, poor diet, and genetics, that play a role in the development of periodontal disease. There’s also a number of preventive actions one can take to avoid periodontal disease. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and bi annual trips to the dentist, are all good ways to keep away periodontal disease. Considering the health-hazards associated with periodontal disease, it’s a smart decision to take as many preventative measures as possible to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Your gums bleed while brushing your teeth.
Your gums are bright red, as opposed to healthy pink, swollen, or sensitive to pain.
You’ve noticed your gums receding from your teeth.
Halitosis, or bad breath, seems to plague you, no matter what you do.
There’s pus in between your gums and teeth.
Your teeth move, or feel loose in your gums or you notice you teeth separating.
You’ve noticed that your bite feels different, or uneven.
If you have dentures, and you notice a difference in the way they fit.
What to do if you Think you Have Periodontal Disease
If the above list of symptoms has you worried about periodontal disease, there’s good news. Studies indicate that patients who treat their periodontal disease, significantly reduce their risks for dental, and other health problems. So the first step if you think you have periodontal disease, is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will check your teeth and gums for periodontal disease, and will design a treatment plan based on your individual needs.
In the meantime, the American Dental Association has recommendations for the prevention of most instances of period disease. “Except in unusual cases, you can help prevent gum disease by brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner once a day.” An ADA article on preventing periodontal disease reads. So before you brush off your dental health, consider the high instances of periodontal disease, and all the problems associated with this insidious disease. For more advanced periodontitis, see your dentist for a comprehensive list of options. Treating periodontal disease reduces your risk
- Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010
- ADA Article: Preventing Periodontal Disease
Emily Manke is a health, lifestyle, HR, and travel blogger from Portland, Oregon. She sometimes contributes to the blog for this dentist in Monroe, WA.