Here is a statistic that should make everyone sit up and take notice: nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease. That works out to about sixty-five million people. Gum disease treatment is available at the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria.
Those statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they refer specifically to periodontal disease, the more advanced form. In its earlier, milder stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.
Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.
No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients twice a year.
Risk factors for developing gum disease include:
- Smoking, which is the most significant
- Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medication
- Medication that reduces the flow of saliva
- The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
The type of treatment a patient gets for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.
We think there already are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and to start brushing and flossing twice a day. But if you’d like another, there it is: to head off a disease that could result in losing your teeth.
The stark truth is that anyone can get gum disease. But there is hope; the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. The Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria provides gum disease treatment, as well as family dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.