Gum Disease in U.S.
In a study conducted in 2009 and 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found gum disease in a disconcerting number of American adults. The figure of 47 percent for respondents over the age of 30 only increases with age, to 70 percent for those 65 and older.
What makes this number disconcerting is the sheer preventability of gum disease, and its prevalence among people of color and those of lower income brackets. These are presumably the groups for whom education about oral hygiene and dental health, not to mention access to dental care, is distinctly lacking.
Preventability of Gum Disease
In its earliest stage, gum disease is called gingivitis and can appear harmless. You may not even have symptoms. The symptoms you do have are typically bleeding while brushing, swollen or puffy gums, or just a bad taste in your mouth. Gum disease at this point can be treated and reversed, which is why early detection is critical. Of course, early detection is only possible if you keep to a dental schedule, and follow the advice of your dental professional.
Access to dental care
Even those with dental insurance aren’t always diligent about keeping appointments. In order to prevent your gingivitis from escalating, you should see your dentist for regular cleanings. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once, and try to keep your diet balanced and mindful.
If you allow your gum disease to progress, it becomes irreversible. Teeth and gums begin to separate, and you may start to lose teeth.
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