Our goal at CITIDental Tremont is not only to make sure your mouth is healthy, but to help you understand the importance of oral health to your overall well-being. When we were growing up, we all thought that going to the dentist was just to treat cavities. They remain second only to the common cold as a health problem, but everyone has gradually learned that gum infection (aka periodontal disease or periodontitis) is far more serious.
Periodontal disease is the main reason to come into our office twice a year for a full dental exam, since it can lead to the loss of teeth, as the gums pull away from supporting the teeth. This should include a digital x-ray (which emits minimal radiation), since this is the only way to see whether any infection has reached the jawbone. If so, this would require a bone graft in order to allow dental implants, which will stop the deterioration.
It is especially important now to remember that periodontal bacteria can raise the risk for other diseases as they spread throughout the body, if not treated, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular diseases of all kinds, and diabetes.
There is new evidence that periodontitis plays a role in how well patients do who are infected with COVD-19. According to one study, 20% of COVID patients suffer from severe respiratory complications, such as COPD, pneumonia, asthma, and acute respiratory syndrome, and periodontal disease makes this far more likely. Another reported that those having both periodontitis and COVID were 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator and nine times more likely to die.
But all these challenges can be prevented with the right homecare and regular checkups. Of course, we make it completely safe for you to come in for an examination, including screening patients for symptoms of COVID, and making sure they wear masks and remain socially distanced while in the waiting room. We have always sterilized instruments after using them, while dentists and assistants wear medical-grade single-use masks, face shields, and disposable gowns.
At home, be sure you are brushing after breakfast and lunch for a full two minutes, then flossing just before you go to sleep. If you are having recurring gum infections, have your dental hygienist not only provide a professional cleaning, but show you the proper way to brush and floss, since for most people it is not easy to master. For more information, contact our Boston dental office today.