Although many adults feel that brushing their teeth twice a day is sufficient for maintaining a healthy mouth, these measures fall short of preventing cavities and gum disease. It is estimated that only 12% of the adult population in the U. S. floss their teeth daily. Additionally, many adults fail to keep their 6-month dental hygiene appointments, using a rationale of “if it doesn’t hurt, nothing is wrong.”
In a country as developed as the United States, it’s unfortunate that so many have some level of periodontal (gum) disease, nearly half of all adults over the age of 30. The bacteria of gum disease not only contributes to cavities and tooth loss, it can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. Oral bacteria, once bloodborne, has been linked to heart disease, stroke, memory loss, arthritis, preterm babies and impotency.
Research also shows a link between gum disease and diabetes. It’s yet to be determined where the connection begins or if one disease causes the other. However, considering that there are more than 25 million American adults who are diabetic, the need for continued studies is important.
On the positive side, it has been shown that once diabetics improve their periodontal health, they can also improve the complications of diabetes and even the control of blood sugar.
As studies continue on health problems related to gum disease, remember that preventing the disease is easier and less expensive than treating it. If you have been less than diligent with your daily brushing and flossing or have delayed regular dental check-ups, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange this first step to a healthier smile and healthier overall you!