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Parkey & Davis, D.D.S
Jonesboro periodontists assess risks for gum disease

Jonesboro periodontists assess risks for gum disease

The Centers for Disease control state that approximately half of the adults in the United States have some form of gum disease - from reversible gingivitis to devastating periodontitis. Jonesboro periodontists, Drs. Michael C. Parkey and Craig T. Davis outline the risk factors for this worrisome oral health problem.

What is gum disease?

Your gums help secure your teeth. When not properly cared for, gums become inflamed and infected, compromising underlying bone structure, and ultimately, the position and viability of teeth.

Mild gingivitis and its more serious counterpart, periodontitis, exhibit progressive symptoms such as:

  • red, puffy bleeding gums
  • continual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • pus at the gum line
  • periodontal pockets where gums pull away from tooth and root surfaces
  • a “long in the tooth” appearance

These signs–and more–stem from accumulated sticky plaque and hard tartar, the residue from the carbs and sugars we consume. When not removed with proper brushing, flossing and regular hygienic cleanings at your Jonesboro dentist’s office, the oral bacteria in plaque and tartar infect soft tissue.

In addition, the American Academy of Periodontology states that almost 65 million Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. What’s the big deal? The problem is that gum disease leads to:

  • tooth mobility and tooth loss
  • deterioration of the alveolar ridge (supporting jaw bone)
  • serious systemic diseases

Periodontists such as Drs. Parkey and Davis in Jonesboro say that what they see during an oral examination often gives insight into overall health. Research proves this out as people suffering with active gum disease often have or can develop:

  • poorly controlled diabetes
  • hypertension
  • cardiovascular disease
  • risk of heart attack and stroke
  • rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
  • dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • osteoporosis

Are you at risk?

The best way to find out the answer to that question is to consult Jonesboro dentists, Drs. Parkey and Davis, during your routine 6-month check–up. However, in general, some people are more at risk for gum disease than others are.

For example, smokers tend to have unhealthy gums because of their exposure to the toxins in tobacco. Also, age increases the likelihood of periodontitis, particularly in people over the age of 65. Of course, poor oral hygiene habits and a sugar-laden diet lead to gum disease and tooth decay, too.

Beyond these factors, heredity seems to play a role in gum disease. In other words, the tendency seems to run in families. Stress suppresses the immune system and can make gums more prone to infection. Stress-related tooth grinding exerts undue force on teeth, bones and soft tissues, too. Finally, some prescription medications such as birth control pills and certain cardiac drugs can predispose people to gum problems.

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