While modern dentistry and dental patients alike are largely concerned with pain management, they often fail to address the underlying causes of the pain that can lead to more severe conditions. For example, periodontal disease is the most common type of human infection but what is largely unknown to the public is that if it is left untreated, it can have a negative chain-reactive effect throughout the body and to overall health.
Periodontal disease can take form as a simple gum inflammation and develop into a serious disease. If untreated, it can result in damage to the soft tissue and bone that holds the teeth in place, and can even cause tooth loss.
Why is gum health crucial to overall health?
If the body is constantly burdened with inflamed gums, the immune system will be busy fighting it. This will consequently leave the body with a decreased capacity to fight other common inflammations, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy issues, and even certain types of cancers. Gum disease can for this reason make you more susceptible to develop other inflammations and diseases.
Is education the missing link in modern dentistry?
Periodontal disease is a massive problem in America, with an estimated 80 percent of adults having some form of the disease. With the knowledge gap on how to avoid it and that it can be detrimental to overall health, it is clear that more education should be plugged into dentist visits to make patients aware. Not only would their overall health improve, they would also save money on general health care, as the body will be more fit to fight other inflammations naturally.
What is the best way to prevent periodontal disease?
While regular cleaning and flossing is key, it is also important to make regular professional hygienist appointments to make sure you stay out of risk of developing periodontal disease altogether. If your dentist does not provide education on the topic, consider seeing another dentist with a more holistic approach or ask your current dentist to incorporate it into their practice.
Source: Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cariodontal (310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-282-0310 or visit Cariodontal.com.