According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50 percent of adults over the age of the in America have some form of gum disease.
“To really know if you have periodontal disease, a dental professional must examine each tooth above and below the gum line,” Pamela McClain, DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology said. “A visual examination alone, even by the most qualified dentist, is not enough.”
No matter how well you maintain your teeth at home, dental professionals suggest adults have a periodontal exam at least once each year in order to ensure oral health, which can also lead to better overall physical health.
In fact, an article posted by The Mayo Clinic referred to the teeth as a window to the bodies overall health, which means your oral health actually has a big impact on your overall physical health.
Failure to address potential periodontal problems might lead to several health issues, including:
“Diabetes is not only a risk factor for periodontal disease,” according to the Penn State Hershey Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “Periodontal disease itself can worsen diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, and make it more difficult to control blood sugar.”
“Bacteria that reproduce in the mouth can also be carried into the airways in the throat and lungs, increasing the risks for respiratory diseases such as pneumonia,” according to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. “These bacteria can also worsen chronic lung conditions such as emphysema.”
“Bacterial infections that cause moderate-to-severe periodontal disease in pregnant women may increase the risk for premature delivery and low birth weight infants,” according to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. “The bacteria from gum disease and tooth decay may trigger the same factors in the immune system that cause premature dilation and contractions.”
It’s not too late
If you have periodontal issues, it is not too late to visit a dentist to attempt to reverse the disease.
The Center for Dental Excellence, a dentist in Pocatello, Idaho, offers periodontal therapy, which can help stop the problem and prevent further medical issues.
“Here at Center for Dental Excellence, we address gum disease by first diagnosing and charting the problem,” according to their website. “Once we have investigated your current condition and nature of gum disease we then recommend an action and treatment plan that is tailored to you. For most treatment plans, we offer a deep cleaning to your gums and roots to halt the progression of your gum disease.”
Don’t wait until it is too late to protect your teeth. Visiting your dentist at least once each year will keep your smile bright, but it could also save your life.