With one in every two adults age 30 and older suffering from periodontal disease (commonly referred to as gum disease), the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and its 8,300 members are calling for Americans to Love the Gums They’re With. Periodontal disease can lead to receding gums, bone damage, loss of teeth, and can increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Despite its prevalence, periodontal disease is hardly ever discussed, resulting in a lack of urgency for people to properly care for their gums. Simple steps like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation from a periodontist can help detect and prevent gum disease.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that, if left untreated, may cause damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth,eventually leading to tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64.7 million Americans are affected by periodontal disease. In addition to diabetes, periodontal disease has been linked to other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
“The serious risks of periodontal disease upon an individual’s oral and physical well-being is a very serious – but often overlooked – health issue, which affects the patient's overall health.” said Miguel A. González Ascar, DMD MS. “With more Americans suffering from this disease than diabetes, the AAP created ‘Love the Gums You’re With’ to educate the public on the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of periodontal disease.”
Periodontal disease typically does not cause pain until it’s in an advanced stage, at which point much of the damage has been done and tooth support destroyed. To raise awareness and to help health consumers better understand periodontal disease, the AAP is teaming up with TV personality Chris Harrison to launch the Love the Gums You’re With educational effort. As host of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” Harrison knows that first impressions are important in successful relationships.. Just as personal relationships thrive on daily attention and care, so does the relationship with your gums.
What Puerto Rico Patients Can Do
To aid in the prevention of periodontal disease, establishing good oral hygiene habits including brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and discussing gum health with a dental professional is highly recommended. To learn more, patients can take a brief quiz on perio.org to evaluate the current state of their gum health, learn the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, and receive tips on how to properly care for their gums. Each patient is unique, and a dental professional can make a referral to a periodontist — a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease — for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and specialized periodontal treatment plan to help support a life-long commitment to healthy gums. You can find a Puerto Rico periodontist on perio.org, or contact Periodoncia e Implantes Dr. Miguel A. González Ascar.
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that form plaque below the gum line. There are more than 500 bacterial species that can be found in plaque, and brushing alone does not remove the bacteria that live below the gum line. Poor oral hygiene is one cause of periodontal disease, but smoking is also a significant risk factor in the development and progression of the disease. While periodontal disease is mostly preventable and treatable, the early warning signs can be painless, making it necessary for individuals to establish strong oral hygiene habits and to discuss their periodontal health with a dental professional. With an appropriate diagnosis, the damage from periodontal disease is reversible in many cases.
About the American Academy of Periodontology
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is the professional organization for periodontists – specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also dentistry’s experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive three additional years of specialized training following dental school, and periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAP has 8,300 members worldwide. For more information, visit perio.org.