Periodontal Disease Education

Advances in early detection of periodontal diseases.

Periodontal disease is far more common than the common cold: 90% of adults and 30% of children have some form of periodontal disease, and of these, 37% have severe forms of the disease. You are far more likely to lose your teeth to periodontal disease than decay. In fact, 60% of all adult tooth extractions are due to periodontal disease. They have also been linked to a number of medical problems. The risk of developing heart disease is up to 168% greater if you have a periodontal infection. Fatal Coronary Head Disease is 50% more likely. Strokes are 300% more likely. For women, pre-term baths are 700% more likely. There are also in-creased risks for diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fortunately, periodontal disease is preventable and treatable.

Because periodontal diseases progress very slowly and usually without pain, they often escape early notice. Traditional tests such as X-rays, periodontal probing and bleeding only reveal problems after the damage has already occurred. We now know that periodontal disease is a communicable bacterial infection. This infection can be detected with sophisticated microbiological tests, often before serious damage can occur.

What does all this mean to you? It means that we can determine whether you are at risk of losing your teeth to periodontal disease far earlier than was previously possible. Early diagnosis can help you to keep your natural teeth, healthy and vital, for the rest of your life and reduce the risk of serious medical diseases. During your next visit, we will use anew, fast and painless microbiological test to deter-mine whether you have any bacterial infection below your gums. You will have the chance to see these microorganisms for yourself with a high power, phase contrast video microscope. The types and numbers of bacteria are an important factor in determining whether you and your family have early risk factors for periodontal disease.

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