It seems like a few times a week I sit down with a patient to explain a serious issue that I found in their gums. It also seems like the more we learn about gum disease, the more we see how dangerous the condition really is.
So I wasn’t surprised when I saw that researchers found that women with gum disease are 14 percent more likely to have breast cancer. The study, which was conducted by the University of Buffalo in New York, compiled data from nearly 75,000 women who had already gone through menopause. One in four of the women in the study had gum disease, and about 2,100 of all women in the study were later afflicted with breast cancer.
In addition to breast cancer, oral health professionals have found a link between gum disease and serious medical issues like heart disease and diabetes. Much like heart disease and diabetes, researchers postulate that the connection between gum disease and breast cancer has to do with inflamation, but more research is needed.
Today I want to show what you are risking when you avoid the dentist or ignore common signs of gum disease.
Gum Disease and Your Oral Health
Gum disease is one of the few things in dentistry that downright terrifies me. It’s not that we do not have to the tools to help patients with gum disease – we do – but the problem can be very aggressive and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Once more, so many patients are living with this issue and aren’t even aware there is a problem.
Patients with gum disease often experience bleeding, inflammation, or swelling in their gums, but don’t wait until you experience those problems. We often call gum disease the stealth disease because it can hit without any warning and have no physical signs.
Here’s a statistic that you can’t ignore: About 75 percent of Americans will struggle with gum disease at some point in their lives. Gingivitis is the only form of gum disease that is curable, unfortunately, which means patients with gum disease need to visit the dentist to monitor their problem. In the advanced stages of gum disease, a pocket forms between the teeth and gums and can cause teeth to fail or become loose.
Visit Our Dental Office
We can help monitor your gum disease BEFORE the problem gets out of hand. We use state-of-the-art treatments and special antibiotics that clean out the gum infection. We also recommend that patients with gum disease visit our office every three to four months instead of every six months.
Patients can help themselves avoid gum disease by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Gum disease isn’t JUST an issue with your gums; it affects your entire body and rubs elbows with some terrible and deadly illnesses.
We’re here to help you in your journey to achieve a healthier mouth. If you have questions about gum disease or would like to schedule a visit with our Plano dental office, call us today at 972-905-9266.