This two-part article series presents some pretty scary facts about a common disease many Arizona residents have, but don’t even know it: gum disease.
Welcome to the second half of this two-part article series on gum disease and the six surprising facts many Arizona residents didn’t know about this prevalent ailment. In Part 1, the first three facts were discussed and they were:
Fact 1: According to the CDC, 80% of Americans present with some stage of gum disease, whether it’s gingivitis or full-blown periodontitis.
Fact 2: Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and is characterized by bad breath, inflamed and swollen gums and gums that bleed when brushed and flossed.
Fact 3: If you don’t go to your dentist for gum disease treatment, you WILL ultimately lose all of your natural teeth.
Let’s take a look at the final three facts about gum disease…
Fact 4: Gum disease is often left untreated because it doesn’t typically cause patients any pain.
Most of the time, Arizona residents will wait out an illness, rather than spend any money seeing a doctor. However, the number one symptom that provokes patients to seek medical attention is pain and this is the problem with gum disease: it doesn’t usually cause any!
“Gum disease can cause your gums to be uncomfortable, to bleed easily and to feel a little tender when brushed, but this discomfort is rarely enough to compel patients to see the dentist for professional treatment,” says a gum disease specialist. “Without urgent symptoms from which patients need relief, gum disease can be left without treatment for many years, by which stage the damage can be irreparable.”
Remember, avoiding the doctor out of a concern for cost might work with the common cold, avoiding professional treatment for dental problems does not. You will only end up with more extensive damage and more expensive bills.
Fact 5: Gum disease puts you at risk of a suite of serious illnesses, including heart, respiratory, liver and kidney disease.Your mouth is the portal through which your body receives it’s life-giving air and nutrition, so if it heavily diseased and infected, what do you think’s going to happen to the rest of your body?
“There is a great volume of scientific literature on the connection between oral health and general health and as far as gum disease is concerned, there are some greatly alarming truths for patients to come to terms with,” says a gum disease treatment expert. “For instance, patients with gum disease are at a far greater risk of developing diabetes and heart disease than those who have healthy gums. A greater prevalence of liver and kidney disease and respiratory disease are also linked with a chronically unhealthy mouth.”
So, neglecting to look after your teeth and gums isn’t only a death sentence for your smile, it could literally be a death sentence for you too!
And so we can see from the fact that gum disease (1) shares a relationship with a host of potentially fatal systemic diseases and (2) can totally destroy your smile if left without treatment that this ailment is indeed truly devastating. The good news is it’s easily preventable and treatable. It’s only in cases of profound neglect and ignorance that gum disease is left to inflict the full caliber of damage it’s capable of.
So, be sure to brush and floss thoroughly every day and see your dentist and oral hygienist at least once every six months for a dental check-up and cleaning!