If you were told that there is a disease that impacts over 8 in 10 American adults, what would you think that disease could be? Heart disease is rampant and cancer is a killer, but did you know that over 80% of adults in the United States suffer from a varying degree of gum disease? While gum disease is less immediately life-threatening than other conditions, it is still a serious medical issue that needs to be addressed. To arm you with the knowledge needed to keep gum disease at bay, we’ve compiled a list of facts to help keep you informed about this prevalent condition.
1. Gum disease can spread from person to person.
Bad bacteria in the mouth can spread through activities like sharing food and drinks and kissing. While you are ultimately responsible for your own oral health, keeping the entire family healthy will benefit everyone in more ways than one.
2. Persistent bad breath can be a sign of a larger issue.
Experiencing occasional bad breath is part of the human condition. From a pungent meal to a case of morning breath, it’s bound to happen from time to time. Chronic, persistent bad breath, on the other hand, is a sign of a larger issue at play. Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, it can cause a pungent and unpleasant odor in the mouth. If your bad breath lingers, see a dentist to discuss the problem.
3. You may not know you have gum disease.
One of many “silent” diseases, there are often few signs or symptoms of gum disease as it develops. In fact, 60% of people who have gum disease are unaware of their condition. Because of this, it is crucially important to routinely visit is it the dentist to keep up on your oral health. When left to progress to a level where signs appear, it may be too late to salvage teeth or repair lasting damage to the mouth.
4. Bleeding isn’t normal.
Many people seem to believe it’s normal for gums to bleed slightly with brushing or flossing, but this simply isn’t the case. If you routinely notice pink when you spit, contact your dentist immediately to find out what is causing the sensitivity to your gums.
5. Losing teeth is correlated to a shorter life expectancy.
Correlation by no means indicates causation, but research has shown that the more natural teeth a person retains as they age, the longer they are likely to live. While this can be attributed to circumstances such as access to health care, it is worth noting that gum disease is linked to serious medical conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and stroke.
If you’re worried that you may be showing signs of gum disease, talk to your dentist immediately to have the problem addressed. Early action is imperative when it comes to oral health, so don’t delay in getting your oral issues under control.
To schedule an appointment with your dentist, give us a call at College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today!