With the vast advancements in the dental field this last decade, it may be surprising to learn that untreated cavities stemming from gum disease are still a prevalent and persistent issue for many people in the United States. More than one in five Americans has untreated cavities and periodontitis, according to Dr. Bruce Dye, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “It appears that we haven’t been able to make any significant strides during the last decade to reduce untreated cavities” (Dye.)
How do cavities relate to periodontal health?
Bacterial plaque continually accumulates on your teeth at the gum line. The same bacterial acids that destroy tooth enamel can cause an infection of your gum tissue and the bone surrounding your teeth. When the plaque is not fully removed, it hardens in to tartar – giving the bacteria a place to thrive, in turn leading to cavities and gum disease that gradually breaks down tooth and bone.
You can reduce your odds of developing gum disease and cavities through engaging in healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing good dental hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing is essential. Limiting sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks that feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and periodontitis is another controllable element in cavity and gum disease prevention. Regular periodontal cleanings are also paramount. When problems are identified and treated early, it prevents the necessity for further costly and invasive procedures. If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain, schedule an appointment today.