Recently, I was looking at some ‘official’ information about gum disease and gingivitis. One of the sites implied that gum disease was the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. I think this is possibly an untrue and potentially dangerous statement to make because it may lead people to believe they will be safe from gum disease if they brush and floss regularly.
The Mayo Clinic’s website estimates that about 80% of Americans suffer from gum disease. Another source states that between 75% and 95% of the population is affected. If someone were to suggest that 80% of Americans don’t brush or floss properly my response would be that although many Americans may have this problem it is not very likely that 80 percent do. I think it is more plausible to conclude that brushing and flossing are generally not enough to prevent gum disease.
In my own example, I brushed and flossed more frequently than the average person and still developed it. I visited a hygienist’s website and she wrote that regular brushing and flossing were not enough to prevent gum disease. With decades of experience backing her up, I think her opinion is a qualified one.
Age is not likely to be a determining factor either. I have noticed that even some very young adults have red or purplish swollen gums. This is sad. I’m positive that the dental profession could create new excellent and effective home regimens that would help the vast majority of adults avoid gum disease or defeat it. If you are a dentist reading this, I hope that you will personally take up the banner of preventing gum disease and champion this cause.
One day, I was told that I needed a root scaling and planing. I was quite surprised. I didn’t really understand what gum disease was and didn’t quite believe that I actually had it. I thought it was normal for some bleeding to occur during brushing and flossing. I later discovered that notion was incorrect. Bleeding during brushing and flossing are signs of gum disease. If the gums bleed while brushing or flossing, even a little bit, it is NOT normal.
A relative told me that she had the root scaling and planing treatment done and that the results were not good and she felt that her gums were worse than before the treatment. I elected not to have the treatment done and decided to do my own research. What I found was quite alarming. The number one cause of tooth loss is gum disease. More people have it or its precursor, gingivitis, than you might reasonably suspect.
I was still puzzled by the question of what to do about it. Then I stumbled upon a few things that, in combination, worked to improve the health of my gums. As a result, on my very next office visit I was told that my gums were looking better and that I didn’t need that root scaling and planing treatment because they were not detecting tartar under the gumline.
What did I do? I created a website called ‘Gingivitis Killer’ to let people know about the combination of tools I used to help me stop the progression of gum disease and prevent it from escalating again. However, if you have or think you might have gum disease or gingivitis, visit your dentist right away for diagnosis and treatment.