Next to tooth decay, gum disease (periodontitis) is one of the most common global diseases. Early-onset periodontitis, often called the silent disease, is normally quite treatable. However, with its mild symptoms and slow progression, it is hard to detect without regular dental checkups. If it continues undiagnosed, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and a host of other problems, and it can easily cost thousands of dollars to treat. It is also associated with other health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The main causes of this disease are poor oral hygiene and tobacco use.
Prevention of gum disease is critical and less costly than the alternative, but you need to do your part. During your visits, we ask if you’re flossing and we may chide you a bit if you’re honest and say “well, those two weeks before I come to see you I’m better,” but every dentist in the U.S. (yes, The Houston Dentists included) should be doing more to help you understand the importance of preventative measures.
Asking you to floss daily is just one measure. Another is learning about and using interdental brushing techniques (something European countries have successfully been incorporating) between checkups to ensure this disease becomes a thing of the past. Also, knowing that periodontist disease affects people who are older can help you be more proactive, as people age 64 and above are in the highest risk factor. Gingivitis, which approximately 90 percent of people have globally, is considered a warning sign and the primary intervention point for preventing periodontitis.
At The Houston Dentists, we can fix periodontitis cases when caught at an early stage. When the disease becomes more prevalent, it becomes a bigger and more costly issue to treat (and costs the U.S. billions of dollars in losses each year).
Meticulous tooth brushing along with flossing/interdental brushing at home and maintaining your routine dental hygiene visits remain the most important aspects of treatment. These simple acts also benefit your overall general health and well-being.