What's the big deal about gum disease?
You've probably been hearing more and more stories about gum disease in the news lately and wondered why we're all so focused on what seems like such a small part of your body – your gums.
The truth is that gum disease really is a big deal. Recent studies have linked this chronic infection to a number of serious systemic health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. This connection is now known as the "oral-systemic link."
Here are some statistics you should know about gum disease:
- According to CDC, half of all American adults have some form of gum disease.
- By the time people reach age 65, this number climbs up to more than 70%.
- Periodontal disease affects women more often than men.
- The highest gum disease rates are found in those who smoke, those who live below the poverty line, and those who never graduated high school.
As gum disease progresses, your gums recede from your teeth, creating pockets where bacteria like to hide. These bacteria cause infection and destroy your gum tissue and your periodontal bone. In time, your teeth will become loose, and if your periodontal disease is not treated, you will lose your teeth.
Gum disease really is serious, but it can be prevented, and if you already have it, it can be stopped.
Schedule your next hygiene appointment with Kirkland dentist Dr. Jen Kim today.