NEW YORK, June 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- How healthy are your gums? Most people don't know, particularly those who only go to the dentist when something hurts. In fact, only 50% of Americans even see a dentist for a yearly check-up. And by not being examined for periodontal disease, they may be setting themselves up for Alzheimer's, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
According to periodontist Dr. Howard Marshall, based on published data, half of the US population suffers from periodontal disease caused by unchecked bacterial growth that begins in the mouth as gingivitis (swollen gums) and over a period of time can morph into bone and tooth loss. These bacteria can spread in the bloodstream and produce inflammation in other parts of the body.
Dr. Marshall states that the presence of periodontal disease in so many Americans represents a "chronic epidemic." He says, "The public doesn't know they are in meltdown over what is, in most cases, a highly preventable and treatable condition if found early."
According to Dr. Marshall:
- Even people whose gums appear a healthy pink, don't bleed, and are not painful may be suffering from gum disease and bone loss.
- Telltale signs include gum bleeding, bad breath, slight loosening of some teeth or increase in the spaces between the teeth.
- Smokers, overweight people and some African Americans seem to be at greater risk.
- Using toothpaste, mouthwash, and even flossing does not provide complete protection against gum disease.
- A patient must see a dentist who does periodontal probing to detect periodontal pockets.
Dr. Marshall can talk about what a proper dental exam is, and explain what the numbers you hear during your dental exam really mean. And he can recommend treatment options for those who have periodontal disease.
Dr. Marshall lectures nationally and internationally, and has taught many dentists about gum disease diagnosis and treatment. He has treated some of the most difficult cases of bone loss and missing teeth during his career. He has been a guest on Late Night With David Letterman, Howard Stern and Good Morning America; he has also been featured in the New York Times. He maintains offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. His latest book is "Gum Disease: Care & Treatment-2015."
SOURCE Dr. Howard Marshall