You probably have heard from your Dentist or Dental Hygienist that brushing and flossing your teeth can help to prevent cavities and gum disease. You hopefully are seeing your dentist at least twice a year. Did you know that regular brushing and flossing accompanied by timely visits to the dentist can also save your life?
The common risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. According to research published by the American Academy of Periodontology, heart disease is two times more common in patients with gum disease as in patients with no sign of it.
Dr. Hastings agrees that this research points to a definite link between heart disease and periodontitis, or gum disease.
That’s not all. Further complications of diseased gums are increased incidence of diabetes, respiratory ailments, and premature and low birth weight babies. With heart disease being the greatest cause of death in the U.S., and the enormous costs to the health care system from heart disease and diabetes, the implications are staggering. This represents a health risk to millions of people. Nearly 300 billion dollars are spent annually in treatment of these two diseases alone.
Nearly 80% of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease, with 22 million Americans being seriously affected. It’s insidious, because gum disease is painless. Only when it is becomes more advanced does the patient become aware that he or she has a problem. All adults should be screened for gum disease at least annually. It’s far easier to treat gum disease in its early stages. Those who are unaware or who don’t get treatment until the disease has advanced, may face surgery, tooth loss, and complication of other more serious health problems.
Our office is focusing on control and elimination of gum disease by frequent therapeutic treatments, such as “root planing” and improved home care. We also use a laser to sterilize deeper pockets of active infection around the roots of teeth. This new procedure has been amazingly successful in helping to return our patients to good health. This doesn’t mean that conventional gum surgery is no longer necessary, but in many cases the need for surgery can be significantly reduced by using the laser.
Please feel free to ask questions about our approach to better health. It’s up to you!