Gum Disease: The Silent Epidemic

February is Gum Disease Awareness MonthFebruary is National Gum Disease Awareness Month. Are you one of the millions of people who have a form of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease)? Research shows that upwards of 85% of U.S. adults suffer from it and don’t even know it! 

Gum disease is serious. It’s an infection of the supporting gum tissue in your mouth, the important support your teeth need to stay healthy. In its earliest stage, called gingivitis, some people have no symptoms, or the symptoms are so subtle (like bad breath) that they don’t think there’s a problem. It’s important to understand that gum disease should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, this bacterial infection could permanently damage your gums, resulting in tooth loss.

How Do You Know if You have Gum Disease?

If identified in its early stages, we can usually keep this infection from affecting your smile. Look for signs such as:

  • Receding gums (your teeth look longer)
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Inflamed, swollen gums
  • Gums that seem to bleed easily
  • Sore gums

Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

Severe gum disease (called periodontitis) has been linked to “systemic” disease that affects the entire body. Studies in recent years have pointed to a link between gum disease and increased risks of:

  • Ischemic stroke
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Some cancers
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Respiratory diseases like COPD
  • Other health issues

How Do We Treat Gum Disease?

Improved home oral maintenance is the first crucial step. Regular professional “deep” cleanings and procedures like root planing and scaling, as well as antibiotic therapies, all offered at the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, are additional steps that help protect against reinfection.

Our doctors are among the few leading periodontists in the area to offer the dynamic LANAP® treatment (laser assisted new attachment procedure) to absorb infected gum tissue. This state-of-the-art procedure removes unhealthy tissue and seals the gums to block additional bacteria, leaving behind healthy tissue. Frequently, more invasive surgical procedures can be avoided by treating with LANAP, the no-cut, no-stitches, no fear way of addressing severe gum disease.

Many LANAP Patient Benefits

With LANAP, patients experience:

  • very little downtime after treatment
  • faster healing
  • less gum loss
  • less swelling, pain and sensitivity than traditional gum surgery

Interested in learning more? Call one of our two convenient locations in Northeast Philadelphia (215-677-8686) or Ambler (215-643-4393) and set up an appointment. You can also contact us online. Don’t let gum disease ruin your smile—or, potentially, your overall health.