Gum disease is very common in the U.S., and causes many different types of problems. It’s important to be aware of the risks of gum disease and, more importantly, how it can be prevented and treated, so you can protect your health.
The inflammation caused by gum diseases damages the tissues of the mouth. This includes the jaw bone. People with long-standing gum disease often experience bone loss, in which the bone of the jaw becomes thinner and weaker.
In addition, the ligaments that hold the teeth in place are also damaged by the inflammation of gum disease. This can lead to the loss of teeth. This is why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S. today. It may come as a surprise that healthy teeth can be lost due to gum disease, but this is unfortunately a very common situation.
Many people are also unaware that gum disease is linked to other types of health problems. This includes not just oral health problems, but also general health problems. For example, having gum disease has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. This doesn’t prove that gum disease directly causes heart disease, but there has been research suggesting that this is the case. Because of the link between gum disease and heart disease, taking care of your oral health could actually save your life.
The most important way to prevent yourself from getting gum disease is to be diligent about your oral hygiene. You need to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. Many people brush, but are distracted while brushing and don’t do a thorough job. It’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing while you brush your teeth. It takes only two minutes, but can make a huge difference in your life.
It’s also important to clean between your teeth. Most people do this with floss, but studies suggest that using small interdental brushes (available at most drugstores) is just as effective. In addition, antibacterial mouthwash decreases the risk of gum disease.
If you have gum disease, then getting treatment can restore your oral health and protect you from the consequences of gum disease. The treatment you need depends on your specific situation. You will need to come in for more frequent cleanings; instead of every six months, you may be advised to visit the dentist’s office every four months, every three months, or even once a month.
As your gum disease is brought under control, then your visits can be reduced in frequency, until you’re back to the standard schedule of once every six months. You may also be prescribed an antibacterial mouthwash, to further decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth.
If visiting the dentist makes you feel nervous or anxious, then you may benefit from sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry patients receive anti-anxiety medications to make their dental visits more comfortable and pleasant. Dr. Caggiano is known as “the sedation dentist of Seattle,” and offers this option to many patients at his Seattle practice.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.