Good afternoon!

How is everyone doing today? Well we wanted to share some interesting information about how prevalent periodontal disease is among adults. This was an email newsletter sent to me recently and I thought it would be informative to our readers.

September 21, 2010 — The number of adults in the U.S. suffering from periodontal disease may be significantly higher than previous research has indicated, according to a study published online in the Journal of Dental Research (September 21, 2010).

The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), researchers appear to have underestimated by as much as 50% how many cases of moderate to severe periodontitis actually exist in the U.S. population.

“This study shows that periodontal disease is a bigger problem than we all thought. It is a call to action for anyone who cares about his or her oral health,” said Samuel Low, D.D.S., M.S., associate dean and professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and president of the AAP, in a press release. “Given what we know about the relationship between gum disease and other diseases, taking care of your oral health isn’t just about a pretty smile. It has bigger implications for overall health, and is therefore a more significant public health problem.”

According to Paul Eke, Ph.D., M.P.H., an epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the study, the findings have significant public health implications. Several research studies have associated gum disease with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Because recent research suggests a connection between periodontal health and systemic health, “understanding the relationships between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases in the adult U.S population is more crucial than ever,” he added.

Copyright © 2010

Many adults live with this disease and do not even know they have it. The best way to find out is to have your dental hygienist do an examination of your gum health at your next check up. At that point the dentist can figure out the best way to treat the disease according to your specific needs. We even have Oral DNA tests to determine whether a patient is genetically susceptible to periodontal disease.

This statistic is a wake up call! Make sure you get in to see your dentist or hygienist every 6 months for check ups. Things in the mouth can change quickly, and prevention is the best way to deal with this disease.

I hope you are all doing well.
Richard Stickney DDS PS


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