It is estimated that one in seven adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have some form of gum disease, from gingivitis to severe periodontitis. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, by age 65, 1 in 4 adults have gum disease. While most people visit the dentist because they are worried about their teeth, with age care for the gums can be equally important.
Our gums are a barrier that help prevent inflammation that could impact other areas of the body. In fact, gum disease has been connected to an increased risk for other health complications, including stroke, diabetes, heart disease and most recently COVID-19 complications.
A new study, published in February 2021, found that gum disease may raise the chances of hospitalization or even death for those that contract COVID-19. The study, conducted in Qatar, compared hundreds of patient cases who had severe complications with COVID-19–assisted ventilation, stays in the ICU, and death–to those without severe complications. Of the patients reviewed, those with periodontitis, the worst form of gum disease, were at least three times more likely to experience severe COVID-19 complications. The researchers noted that the systematic inflammation that has been problematic in severe COVID-19 cases, is also a symptom of gum disease.
The study reinforces the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Care is crucial not only to oral health, but even your overall health, especially during this time of a global pandemic and COVID-19 concerns. Early detection is key, as gum disease can be treated before it gets serious. Early symptoms can include red and swollen gums, and continuous bad breath. More advanced issues can include a reduction in gum size, tooth sensitivity, and even a shift in teeth that can cause a change in the bite. Treatment for gum disease starts with a visit to the dentist for an in-depth cleaning. Based on the amount of infection, medication or antibacterial mouthwash may be prescribed as a part of the treatment. In the most extreme cases of gum disease surgical options, such as a gum graft surgery or a flap surgery, may also be needed.
When you need a specialist to address your concerns about developing or worsening periodontal disease, the prosthodontists at Dental Solutions of Binghamton are ready to help. Prosthodontists are the most highly trained restorative dentists in the country with extensive training using state of the art technology and procedures for complex oral health issues. Before a mild case of gingivitis becomes a serious form of gum disease like periodontitis, go to a pro. Call for your appointment with Dr. Sambursky or Dr. Zietsman today, 607.798.0789.