Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gum Disease Disparities

Discrepancies in Gum Disease

Why do some people seem more prone to gum disease than others? Is gum disease only linked to our home care and hygiene? Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman believe the key to preventing gum disease and the need for future dental implants is in the way you care for your teeth at home by brushing and flossing on a regular basis.  However, a new study will be released in the September-October issue of Public Health Reports investigating periodontal disease among U.S. adults over a 10-year period.
The study was led by Luisa Borrell, DDS, PhD, at Lehman College and Makram Talih fom Hunter College School of Public Health. Their goal was to find the differences between groups categorized by ethnicity, income, and education to see where gum disease is more prevalent using data from 1988-1994 and 1999-2004.

Early Periodontitis

Researchers concluded that the disease was the most common among adults 35 years and older, men (18% higher than women), Mexican Americans (66.7%), high school drop outs (66.9%), and lower income families (65.4%).  Dr. Borrell also did acknowledge that the 1999-2004 population had larger differences that those from the 1988-1994 study. 
This is important to know as periodontal disease continues to rise in the United States.  In fact, a new study, Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010, estimates that 47.2%, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe gum disease.  This means almost HALF of the population here in the Denver, CO area have gum disease, and Periodontal Associates are here to fix this!

Periodontal Associates
Severe Periodontitis
Regular cleanings are necessary in order for Drs.Versman, Heller, and Beckman to diagnose periodontal disease and treat it.  Our periodontal hygienists are also specially trained to clean patients with severe gum disease for patients in the Denver, metro area.  Dr. McClain, researcher in the study of periodontitis in the U.S., noted that these findings support the need for comprehensive periodontal evaluations annually. “To really know if you have periodontal disease, a dental professional must examine each tooth above and below the gum line. A visual examination alone, even by the most qualified dentist, is not enough. These findings suggest that many more people have periodontal disease than previously thought, so it is more important than ever to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from your dental professional, every year.”It is not too late to take control in the treatment and prevention of your gum disease, and Periodontal Associates is here to help. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue, ligaments, and bone around the teeth. It causes weakening and ultimate destruction of these tissues which protect and support the teeth and hold them in place. Pyorrhea is an older name for this disease.

The treatment usually consists of three important phrases. The learning phase: All periodontal patients must learn the facts regarding the destructive power of this disease process and its effect in the mouth.  The control phase: The problems of the existing disease must be controlled. Treatment may include the correction of gum and bone defects, as well as correction of malocclusion problems and the replacement of missing teeth.  The preventive phase: Once the disease process is under control, with as many problems eliminated as possible, it is the responsibility of the patient to seek regular preventive treatment. Of course, effective personal oral hygiene must be maintained at all times.

We are happy to get you started in this process, so give Periodontal Associates a call today at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  We are periodontal specialists serving dental implants in Denver, CO as well as helping to treat gum disease.  Don’t take the risk of postponing treatment, and allow our doctors, Versman, Heller & Beckman, to change your life and your health for the better.

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