Let’s face it. Dentists are busy people. Very busy. They often have a case load that keeps them working all day long. They don’t always have time to tell you everything you should know about your teeth and gums or how to care for them.
Yet, gum disease appears to be the cause of the majority of tooth loss in the world. Therefore, it must be important to know about. If you have ever had gum disease, you know how frustrating and bewildering the experience is.
Most people have heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. So it is with gum disease. Even if you are not currently nursing a pretty obvious case of gum disease, a question needs to be asked: Do you know everything you need to know about this disease?
In addition to that question, are there tools and techniques that you don’t know about that might help you, provided you had the permission of your dentist to try them? The answer is yes. It is not likely that you are aware of all of the things that might help you stop the progression of an existing case of gum disease or to help you prevent it in the first place.
For example, most people have not heard of the Perio-Aid. This is a simple, elegant and powerful tool that you can use to help remove plaque and strengthen the gums at the same time. Yet, many people haven’t heard of it. At the same time, not many dentists are promoting this tool. If your dentist happens to be a periodontist, then it is more likely that he may have told you about it.
Of course, there are many other tools and techniques that may be helpful in fighting and preventing gum disease. Our dentists are busy people and they may not have the time to share everything they know with you during a short office visit. In addition, maybe they are so busy that they haven’t had time to remain up to date on the latest and greatest?
One thing is fairly clear, the average person needs to know more about home care. Sometimes brushing and flossing are not enough to fight off dental diseases. Clearly there are a lot of people suffering from gum disease and cavities. If brushing and flossing were enough, perhaps there wouldn’t be so many sad cases?
I once faced a similar situation. In fact, I was fortunate enough to do a little investigation of my own when I was told that I needed a special gum treatment. What I realized from that investigation is that people are largely unaware of what gum disease is and what it can do. More importantly, most people are unaware of what they can do about stopping and preventing gum disease at home – with the permission of their dentists, of course.
Wouldn’t it be worth learning more about this disease? After all, your teeth are a precious asset. Anyone with dentures or even implants might tell you that they would rather have their own natural teeth back. There really is no substitute for keeping your teeth or at least keeping those that remain. I know it is possible. I think it just involves a bit of work at home in addition to professional care at the dentist’s office.
David Snape is the author of What You Should Know about Gum Disease. He also answers questions at his blog: http://tobeinformed.com.