In the article she questions a dentist about periodontal pockets. Sidestepping the real issue, he talks about a new test. But the reality is that many dental offices are
1. NOT checking pocket depths or:
2. They are, but they are not telling the patient when those pocket depths are above 3mm AND what that means for the patient’s dental health.
INSTEAD: You will sometimes see that the dentist knows about the problem and is ‘monitoring’ it until it is time for a costly treatment.
That old saying, ” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, is so true. Another good one is, “Let the buyer beware”. Has your dentist or hygienist told you what your periodontal pocket depths are recently and what those readings actually mean?
To the consumer of health care, prevention is worth gold! This is especially true in light of the very common practice of prescribing a ‘deep cleaning” a.k.a SRP (Scaling and Root Planing) treatment. This procedure is worth $1600 or more in some dental offices.
But I digress.
Here is an excerpt from Jane’s article:
“Chances are you have a dirty mouth and it could be killing you.
The Surgeon General estimates 85 percent of Americans have gum disease — which make it one of the six major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.
Indeed, the plaque in our mouths is the same as the plaque in our arteries, so if you have bleeding gums, that stuff is entering your bloodstream.
“Our mouth is the gateway to health,” says Daniel L. Sindelar, for 30 years a practicing dentist in the St. Louis area and co-founder of the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health.”
The full article can be found here: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/08/12/2876055/dirty-mouth-can-kill-you.html
Most dental health practitioners will say that 75% percent of people have gum disease today (some form of it).
That translates to about 3 out of every 4 people. The reason why a (now old) Surgeon General report referred to it as a ‘silent’ epidemic is because out of that 75% very few know they have it.
When you consider that most dentists are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to the problem, instead of really teaching prevention and working towards heading off problems, the statistics make more sense.
I am speaking in general terms in this article. If you have a specific question about your dental health, you should ask your doctor.
The problem is quite widespread according to both dental professionals and the surgeon general.
Gum disease is rarely explained in simple, easy to understand and ‘what you can do about it’ concepts.
There are two books on the topic. Disclaimer: They are both written by me. These books are in easy to understand terms.
The more basic of the two is: How To Stop Gum Disease In 4 Easy Steps.
The other, more voluminous tome is: What You Should Know about Gum Disease ISBN: 978-0981485508
The former is available on Kindle and Nook for a whopping 99 cents. However, you can get it free here:
The good doctor quoted in the article is absolutely right. Gum disease means that there is an easy route for the bacteria in our mouth to enter our bloodstream. Couple this with the fact that the same bacteria that is known to cause gum disease is also found in arterial plaquing, (in the arteries around the heart and in other places). When you put those two together, you might draw a very grim conclusion.
Researchers have been noticing the links between gum disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many other diseases for a long time now.
It is imperative that people, for their own health and that of their families, start to pay attention to this important disease. Since dental professionals mostly agree that 75% of people have this problem, we should all have a sense of ‘urgency’ about stopping and / or preventing it in the first place!
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