“Please Daddy, one more book!” Bedtime with my two year old daughter, Nurit is a constant struggle. Obviously she doesn’t comprehend that sleep is vital to her growth and overall health. There are many things I do as a father she doesn’t like but I do it because I know its good for her. The dentist-patient relationship is remarkably similar.
I have always felt that telling a patient they have a gum problem or “periodontitis” is difficult. Why?
Gum disease is an invisible enemy- you can’t feel it and you can’t see it. Being painless and slow to progress, people don’t know they have periodontitis until it is advanced and they start loosing teeth.
Tooth loss is not the only consequence. Research has found a link between periodontal disease and other problems including diabetes, heart disease, premature birth, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sounds scary, right? The statistics are even more alarming. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, “42% of US adults 30 years or older have periodontitis.” Notably, periodontitis is more prevalent among current smokers, people who do not floss regularly, and those who have not visited a dentist in the past six months.
What can you do? Firstly, maintain good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing every day and night. Secondly, come visit us! During a checkup at Tenafly Dental Associates, we constantly evaluate what’s happening inside your mouth and assess your risk for developing gum disease.
Treatment recommendations for gum disease differ from person to person. You are unique and we care for you in that way. Let’s battle this invisible enemy together and lead a happy and healthy life.