You’ve probably heard about the six month rule for most of your life. Besides brushing and flossing daily, you should see the Corona dentists at Dental Associates of Corona (or your closest family dentist) every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning. When you take good care of your teeth, your dentist tells you what a good job you’re doing and encourages you to continue. After a while, you may begin to wonder if seeing the dentist so much is really necessary. Yet if you stopped, how would you know how well your oral health is doing, or if there are any new issues?
Early Detection is Key
Most illnesses are better treated the earlier they are detected. Periodontal (gum) disease is no exception. Gum disease begins with bacterial infection of the gingival tissues and continues to spread until treated. By the time you notice gum disease, it’s possible that it is too late to save one or more of your teeth. Treatment for periodontal disease is often extensive and invasive to prevent further infection. By visiting a dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning, signs of gum disease are detected early and treatment is recommended within plenty of time save you from tooth loss.
Are You at Risk for Gum Disease?
Many people think that if they avoid lifestyle factors (such as smoking, eating too much sugar, or overindulging in alcohol) they won’t develop gum disease. This simply isn’t a guarantee. Hormone fluctuations increase the risk for gum disease, as does using an albuterol inhaler for asthma. Age, too, is a risk factor. However, while risk factors put one at higher susceptibility for gum disease, 80% of Americans have some form of the condition. Out of everyone you know, only 20% are without periodontal infection. Left untreated, the condition will worsen. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the US, and it’s a contributing factor to heart disease, respiratory problems, cognitive diseases, low-weight birth, and diabetes complications.