When did they launch a “Month for Gum Disease”?
February has been designated “Gum Disease Awareness Month” in a national and global effort to raise public awareness of gum disease. The awareness program was launched in 2012 by the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, a non-profit educational and research center dedicated to providing evidence-based clinical training in advanced laser dentistry therapies.
Many people ignore the warning signs which include swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, painful chewing, and loose or sensitive teeth. There are also certain behaviors and risk factors that can contribute to gum disease, such as smoking, stress, diabetes, heredity, crooked teeth, and even hormonal changes.
In Bloomfield Dental Center, our goal is to continually raise awareness of the prevalence of gum disease and consequences of untreated disease, while encouraging patients to take an active role in better oral health through prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Why A Month for Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. 85% of US adults suffer from some degree of gum disease, making it one of the most common diseases in America – more common than cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease. Yet, only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease. Worse yet, only 3% of adults with moderate to severe levels of gum disease will accept treatment.
If you’re over the age of 30, you have a 50% chance of having a mild, moderate or severe form of periodontal disease.
Therefore, February is Gum Disease Awareness Month in pretty much every state in the US. The disease affects more than just a person’s gums and teeth. There have been numerous studies showing that periodontal disease also plays a part in a person’s overall health, and that there is likely a link between it and heart disease, diabetes, and several other conditions.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The number one cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. When you neglect your teeth & gums – by not brushing daily for #2min2x a day or flossing – plaque will build up along the gum line, which is the first stage of gum disease, Gingivitis. If you further neglect gingivitis this systemic infection will progress into periodontitis, and if still not treated, full-blown advanced periodontitis. And it’s not just about taking care of your gums or oral health, it’s about taking care of your overall health! Gum disease has been found to have systemic connections to the following serious health issues:
– Heart Disease
– Alzheimer’s & Dementia
– Respiratory Disease
– Rheumatoid Arthritis
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
You are probably wondering how to get healthier gums at this point. The best way to prevent gum disease is to develop a good oral care routine. It may take a few small alterations to your daily routine, but healthy gums are worth the extra effort!
– Floss at least once per day to reach any plaque or food your toothbrush can’t reach.
– Keep brushing twice per day and don’t forget your tongue!
– Follow-up with your dentist regularly to get your teeth cleaned by a professional.
– Choose a toothpaste with fluoride and the ADA seal of acceptance.
– Try a therapeutic mouthwash that can help prevent plaque build-up.
– If you are a smoker, it’s probably time to quit because there is a strong correlation between smoking and gum disease. It also takes longer for a smoker’s gums to heal and it’s more difficult to fight off gum infections.
Gum disease is preventable if you know how to make gums strong. If you’re worried that you may have some signs of gum disease, or it’s time for a check-up and cleaning, contact the professionals at Bloomfield Dental Center to Make an Appointment Today!