This is a hidden gum disease that is very common throughout the world and effects all ethnic groups. In the USA the predominant image is straight, white teeth but the reality is that 25% of people over 60 don’t have their own teeth.The major reason for this fact is the prevalence of Periodontitus.
So how to recognize as to whether you have the disease?
1. Unpleasant breath
2. Swollen, red gums
3. Bleeding gums
4. Retracting gums.
5. More than usual tartar build up on teeth
6. Sensitive teeth
7. Unstable teeth
So some facts…teeth are not bone as most people think, but they sit in sockets of bone. Between teeth and bone is a dental ligament that allows the teeth to move in 5 directions. (Also be aware when you have a tooth implant that it is connected in the bone between sockets and cannot be attached onto the teeth next to it.)
When you have tartar build up the socket gets larger and starts breaking down from the outside, eventually penetrating the socket itself and effecting the dental ligament. The problem with Periodontitus is that a dentist can stabilize the disease by removing tartar, but the disease cannot be reversed.If the disease is in the advanced stage, the dentist needs to remove any tooth affected, whether the tooth itself is healthy or not!
So to stop the disease from advancing you need to have the tartar removed regularly (once every 6 months). 80% of us have some stage of the disease. And remember that the more teeth you have removed, the more that the other teeth are overloaded, which exasipates the problem.
If you have problems use a soft toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste as well as getting the tartar removed regularly. Also be aware that using dental floss or tooth picks actually traumatizes the gums and teeth (which is one of the major reasons in the advancement of the disease) so there are better, safer ways of cleaning your teeth. The best methods are using an electronic toothbrush with a fine head and that has various speeds (and that sprays water into the mouth at the same time) and gargle with an antiseptic solution twice a day.
And saving the best news to last! People who have an advanced form of this disease have a far greater risk of Heart Disease because of the amount of bad bacteria entering the gut!