Periodontal Disease in the United States
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is commonly called, is the most prevalent oral health issue in the United States today. Gum disease in its mildest stage is called gingivitis, while more advanced gum disease is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is characterized by the loss of connective tissue that supports the teeth, and leads to the destruction of soft tissue and bone, eventually resulting in tooth loss if not treated.
A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly half of US adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontitis. This number increases to nearly two-thirds for those over the age of 65.
According to the study, men were more likely than women to have periodontitis, and smokers were more likely than non-smokers to have the disease. Prevalence of periodontitis was also higher among African Americans, Mexican-Americans, those living under the federal poverty level and those with less than a high school diploma.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable. With proper oral hygiene care at home, most people can prevent the occurrence of gum disease. Spreading the word about the importance of good oral hygiene habits, especially among the most vulnerable populations, will go a long way towards reducing the incidence of the disease. Everyone should do the following at home:
• Brush your teeth twice a day
• Floss daily
• Get a professional dental cleaning every six months
Prevention is one thing. But if you are one of the millions of Americans with existing gum disease, periodontal treatments can rid you of the problem so you can start anew. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
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