Periodontal Disease in American Adults
About half of Americans over the age of 30 have some degree of periodontal disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The number of people suffering from periodontal disease is even higher in older adults, with about two-thirds of those over the age of 65 having moderate or severe gum disease.
In its earliest stages, gum disease can be easy to overlook. You may dismiss any symptoms you notice as irritation. Unfortunately, ignoring early gum disease can allow the infection to progress and even worsen. Routine dental checkups can be a great way to monitor the health of not only your teeth but your gums, also.
Symptoms of gingivitis, or mild gum disease, include swelling, redness and bleeding while brushing or flossing. You may also have bad breath that is resistant to treatment. At this stage, a professional cleaning may be all that you need to get your gums back in good shape. Combined with good dental hygiene, healthy habits and a balanced diet, professional care can help stop and even reverse the effects of early gum disease.
If the inflammation continues, you may end up with bigger problems. Periodontal pockets, or spaces between the teeth and gums, can develop and allow deeper infection. Gums will eventually pull away from the teeth, causing potential bone and tooth loss. The damage can be extensive at this stage, and treatment may include one or several treatments to control the infection, stop the spread of the disease and restore the overall oral health. We may recommend a deep cleaning, antibiotic therapy or surgery.
Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next checkup with our periodontist in North Hollywood.
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