Many of us visit the doctor regularly for routine evaluations and screenings. This includes skin cancer screenings, mammograms, and colonoscopy. But what about your oral health? Are you as prudent about evaluating and taking care of your smile as you are the rest of your body? What many people don’t realize is that the health of the smile can be an indicator of the health of the rest of the body. This is because conditions such as periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” can cause bacteria to travel elsewhere to the body with the oral systemic connection. Bacteria can cause infection and inflammation in other organs of the body, increasing a patient’s risk of heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
Dr. Brian Davey is a dentist in the San Diego community who expresses to his patients the concerns of periodontal disease and other conditions that impact oral health and wellness. If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, it’s time to learn the truth about the problems associated with this infection. Read on to learn more about concerning facts regarding periodontal disease and other common dental problems.
Leading cause of tooth loss
Did you know that periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss? The Academy of General Dentistry has found that this widespread issue can affect half of all Americans by 30, based on information compiled by the CDC. San Diego, CA area patients should be proactive in protecting their smile from tooth loss through periodontal disease, trauma, or tooth decay.
What is periodontal gum disease?
Many patients don’t fully understand what gum disease is. This condition is caused by bacteria that build along the gumline. The gums may start to shrink, which causes gaps to be left between the gums and the teeth—leaving the perfect space for bacteria to thrive. The infection can cause the loss of gums, bones, and teeth and is entirely preventable with proper care.
How is periodontal disease treated?
The treatment for a patient with periodontal disease depends on the patient’s unique situation. Early stages of periodontal disease may be easily managed with a deep, thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums at the dental office during prophylaxis. If a patient has the later stages of periodontal disease, a more invasive procedure called periodontal scaling and root planing may be considered. This is a treatment during which the dental hygienist will clean plaque and bacteria from all surfaces of the teeth–including the roots below the gumline. Sometimes, antibiotics may also be prescribed to further help in controlling the infection. When this is done, it can reduce a patient’s risk of other health problems associated with bacteria and inflammation carried through the bloodstream.
Is periodontal disease contagious?
Actually, it is! Because it is an infection, it can be passed from one person to another. This can happen by kissing another individual on the mouth, sharing utensils, or drinking with shared straws. We encourage patients to be proactive in getting their condition diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to avoid spreading the infection to other family members, including significant others.
Are you worried about periodontal disease or tooth decay?
Working with a dentist focusing on preventative care is the first step in taking care of your smile and avoiding conditions such as periodontal disease. If you live in the area and are looking for a dentist in San Diego, CA who can help you achieve and maintain your oral health and wellness, look no further than Dr. Brian Davey. His facility is located at 7805 Highlands Village Plaza, Suite G105, and can be reached to book an appointment at (858) 264-4369.