January 10, 2020
It’s estimated that almost 50% of adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, that increases to 70% of adults over age 65! People often underestimate the consequences of this common condition. It’s not only the leading cause of tooth loss, but it’s also been found to increase the risk of many serious diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers. In this blog, you’ll learn more about the risk factors for gum disease (including why your risk increases with age) and why it’s so important to have your gums examined by a dentist in Naples. You’ll also find out how gum disease therapy can help. Learn more below!
Why Does the Risk of Gum Disease Increase With Age?
Generally speaking, the risk of overall health problems increases with age, and oral health issues like gum disease are no exception. And, at this stage of life, the following contributing factors are more likely to apply, all of which increase your chance of developing gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene due to arthritis in the hands or other dexterity challenges
- Certain medications such as blood pressure, seizure, or immunosuppressant drugs
The Importance of Seeing a Dentist Regularly
Gum disease is sometimes called a “silent disease” because it isn’t usually painful. That’s why regular checkups are so important. These visits include gum exams to catch any problems early on when treatment is most effective.
These exams take just minutes and include observing your gums visually as well as measuring the “pockets” of gum tissue around each tooth. Healthy pocket depths are 1-3mm, which are shallow enough that you can easily remove plaque and food debris with a toothbrush and floss. Pockets deeper than 4mm indicate gum disease and make it impossible for you to access plaque and tartar under the gumline at home. Over time, that leads to a vicious cycle as the gums become infected and make the pockets even deeper.
How Does Gum Disease Therapy Work?
If a dentist diagnoses you with gum disease, they’ll typically start by recommending a type of gum disease therapy in Naples called scaling and root planing. Also called a “deep cleaning,” this procedure is usually done in 2-4 visits and you’ll be numbed beforehand for comfort. Then a hygienist will remove plaque, tartar and bacteria from under the gumline where you can’t reach. They’ll also smooth the roots of your teeth to prevent bacteria from re-accumulating. This greatly reduces the inflammation in your gums and returns them to a state of health.
Gum disease comes with serious consequences and is more likely to occur with age. But with professional care from a dentist, it can be managed to keep you healthier from head to toe!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Skupny is a family dentist in Naples with over 10 years of experience who understands how gum health affects overall well-being, especially with age. That’s why he and his team focus on prevention and early treatment to minimize the risks associated with this common condition. If you’d like to know more about gum disease therapy or have any questions, he can be reached via his website.
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