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Eighty Percent of Americans Have Gum Disease, Oh My!

By Jill Feilmeier on July 31, 2012 in Dental Health

Dentist explaining something to his patient

Here is a surprising statistic: 80 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. Can you believe that?!

Considering gum disease is a preventable condition, it is disturbing that so many adults are plagued with gum disease. However, most adults probably don't realize how serious a simple case of gingivitis could escalate. If left untreated, gum disease can cause bone and tissue loss. That's right, bone and tissue loss!

Gingivitis is the most basic form of gum disease. If you don't visit your dentist every six months, the plaque that builds can inflame your gums and cause them to become red and swollen. They may even be prone to bleeding when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis is treatable and can easily be reversed with a faithful regimen of brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly.

Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease. If you don't treat your gingivitis, you risk developing this damaging condition. If left untreated, the immune system fighting the bacteria in the affected gums could break down the bone a tissue holding your teeth in place. Can you imagine loosing teeth because you didn't visit your dentist? Well… it happens.

Now that you know what can you do to avoid all this trouble. The answer is actually very simple: brush, floss, visit your dentist and for goodness sake, don't smoke!

Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with gum disease. If you need a reason besides lung cancer to quit smoking, well here you go! Gum disease is no fun either.

The moral of this story? Take care of your mouth, and your mouth will take care of you!