Gum Disease Awareness Month Tips
February marks the beginning of Gum Disease Awareness month, and there’s no better time to inform yourself and your patients about the many causal and direct links between gum disease and other health problems for both children and adults.
Is gum disease linked to heart disease?
In short: yes. There is plenty of highly regarded scientific literature devoted to the direct link between long term clinical gingivitis diagnosis and heart disease. This is especially true for individuals without a history of routine dental care or professional cleanings, as this is usually indicative of other or worsening health problems.
Does gum disease cause dementia?
The physical ramifications of long-term gum disease can manifest in many different ways. Due to the nature of dentistry as a form of preventative and treatment medicine, studies about the links between dementia and gum disease have been well documented. Certain bacteria that are found in the mouth are also found within the brains of individuals with clinically diagnosed dementia.
Coronavirus and gum disease: a developing trend
After almost a year of the entire world engulfed in the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the healthcare industry has been rocked with new information about the spread of coronavirus, and dentistry is no exception. Research suggests a causal link between noted gum disease and the severity of COVID-19’s progression. Your mouth is filled with blood vessels, all of which are a direct pathway to important organs such as the heart and lungs. As well as this, new clinical symptoms such as a swollen, discolored “COVID tongue” and the formation of new mouth ulcers have been seen inpatients recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
Prevention for periodontal patient care
For children, the primary motivator for clean teeth should be to prevent cavities that hurt and gum disease that can hinder the formation of adult teeth. As a dentist, informing the parents of your pediatric patients is imperative for them to receive the proper care during their formative years. Plus, parents will establish good habits if they know what to look for early on in their child’s dental development.
Can you reverse gum disease?
Very early forms of gum disease can be reversible if your patient sticks to routine care and an effective treatment plan. After the long term formation of cavities or bacterial gingivitis reversal through at-home care becomes less likely. With so many different factors potentially affecting a patient’s gums and teeth, you should make it a priority to ensure that your patients are getting a professional look at their teeth instead of just “winging it” and hoping that their oral hygiene is regularly up to par.
Staying aware through routine care
Every doctor admits that prevention is the best medicine, but there is no greater advantage than informing your patients of the importance of routine treatment. For children, the time to start a dental hygiene plan is sooner than later, so that good habits can be established and followed through. No matter their current age or health, your patients should feel no shame in admitting that they haven’t been taking care of their teeth as well as they should. Let them come to realize that the fast and easy track to healthier teeth and a healthier body starts with visiting their dentist: you!