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Love Your Gums!

One in every two adults age 30 and older suffers from periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is calling for Americans to Love the Gums You’re With and take better care of their gums. To learn more, take a brief quiz on perio.org/loveyourgumsto evaluate the current state of your gum health, learn the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, and receive tips on how to properly care for their gums. In addition to educational information, you can also search for a periodontist in your area, who can work with them to create a personalized plan to help support a life-long commitment to healthy gums.

Periodontal disease can lead to receding gums, bone damage, loss of teeth, and can increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. Despite its prevalence, periodontal disease is hardly ever discussed, resulting in a lack of urgency for people to properly care for their gums. Simple steps such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation from a periodontist can help detect and prevent gum disease.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that, if left untreated, may cause damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 65 million Americans are affected by periodontal disease. In addition to diabetes, periodontal disease has been linked to other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.

A release from AAP quotes Stuart J. Froum, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, clinical professor and director of clinical research at New York University’s Department of Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, as saying, “Many people don’t know that  periodontal disease is so common and often overlooked. With more Americans suffering from this disease than diabetes, the AAP created Love the Gums You’re With to educate the public on the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of periodontal disease.”

Periodontal disease typically does not cause pain until it’s in an advanced stage, at which point much of the damage has been done and tooth support destroyed. To raise awareness and help consumers better understand periodontal disease, the AAP is teaming up with Chris Harrison to launch the Love the Gums You’re With educational effort. As host of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” Harrison has the experience to know first impressions are important and what makes a successful long-term relationship. Just as personal relationships thrive on daily attention and care, so does the relationship with your gums.

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