According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 2 American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease.
A study, Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010, states that approximately 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis.
According to the Journal of Dental Research,in elderly individuals 65 and older, the rates increase to 70.1 percent.
The question then asked is how can one prevent it? Regular oral hygiene is the best way to keep gum disease at bay. This includes taking proper care of both your teeth and your gums. Contrary to popular misconception, gum disease can be avoided quite easily with simple preventative measures that can be done at home.
Good oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth and this should be done at a minimum two times per day. It is also recommended to brush after meals that were particularly acidic, sugary, or left a stain to remove the food debris.
Use a swift and soft motion to avoid plaque buildup, preferably using a soft bristled brush. Don’t forget to brush your tongue too as bacteria may often hide and grow there.
Research has shown that brushing removes only 47% of plaque on average. Flossing every day, especially between meals, helps in removing plaque and food particles stuck between teeth that the brush can’t quite manage to reach.It also massages the gums, which increases the blood flow to the tissue.
Mouthwash isn’t just a cool prop for TV advertisements. Using a mouthwash can significantly help in reducing the plaque build-up, and further remove remaining food particles left behind after brushing and flossing.This makes it an effective form of teeth cleaning. Don’t forget to swish your tongue while using it!
Know Your Risk
Age, genetics, diet and smoking are all factors that need to be considered for gum disease. Be aware if you are at an increased risk, and consult a dentist to help adjust and balance your lifestyle accordingly.
Visit a Periodontist
To be on the safe side, get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) each year from a periodontist. A CPE will examine your teeth, gums, bone structure, oral tissue and other risk factors for gum disease. The sooner you identify any potential symptoms, the earlier you can start protecting your gums and teeth from gum disease!