Which affliction is more widespread?
- Terminal lovesickness
- The heartbreak of psoriasis
- The common cold
- Periodontal disease
Not even winter colds (or Cupid's arrows) strike as many of us as gingivitis - gum disease. As many as 75% of adults will be victimized sometime in their lifetimes.
If this infection could grow on your arm, you'd be horrified. Instead, periodontal disease does its dirty work out of sight: inside your mouth. Left alone, it opens up gaps between gums and teeth. Too soon, you're on your way to losing your teeth entirely.
How can I stop it?
Mouth disease comes from sticky, invisible colonies of bacteria called plaque that live in the crevices between gums and teeth. Left by themselves, these critters organize to do their damage. If they're disorganized at least once every 24 hours, they never get time to recolonize and continue the infection.
Periodontal (gum) disease and gingivitis prevention is a matter of disturbing these bacterial pests daily. That means first brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush. Then working dental floss down between the margin of your teeth and gums to dislodge plaque colonies that have built up during the day.
So much of your periodontal and gum disease treatment depends on what you're willing to do about your dental health. With vigilant home care and regular exams, together with your periodontist you can beat the statistics.
DR. GARY SIGAFOOS