The first thing a "new patient" and I discuss is the reason why they visit me. Most look dumbfounded when I tell them they don't visit me for the health of their teeth. Continuing, I inform my "new patients" they visit me to maintain the health of their gums, which is most important for their overall well-being. We reconstruct teeth all day long, and we are good at it. Your teeth are very important to maintain a smile, to chew food, and aid in digestion. However, your gums are more important for your overall health. Heart disease, strokes, and diabetes are linked to unhealthy mouths. As I write this today, gum disease and periodontal disease (bone around teeth is also diseased) are uncurable. It is estimated that 75% of American adults have one or both of these diseases and they can lead to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.
Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth, gums become irritated and inflamed. The irritated gum tissue can separate from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. Bacteria move into the pockets where they continue to promote irritation. Left untreated, the process can continue until the bone and other tooth-supporting tissues are destroyed. Bleeding gums are the initial warning sign but may be absent in some patients like smokers. When your gums bleed, bacteria can enter our bloodstreams. Statistics come out everyday verifying the health concerns of oral negligence. The latest study conducted in Thailand last week, reported a 24% reduction in heart disease by getting a professional cleaning once a year. Most of our patients have some form of cleaning every 6 months. Many of our patients visit our office 3-4 times each year for cleanings because they form "buildup" more quickly.
|Gingivitis (bleeding gums)|