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Periodontal disease is a bigger threat than you think.

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Home  /  Periodontal - Dental News  /  Periodontal disease is a bigger threat than you think.
Dec
15

Oral bacteria multiply so fast that they’ll take over if you don’t attack them regularly. Here’s how.

If you're a regular patient of ours in Bath Avenue, you’ll know that we are just a lineout throw away from the Aviva Stadium. It’s been filled to the brim in recent weeks with those epic games against The All Blacks and Australia (not to mention Canada, of course).
 

And because we’re absolute nerds, we happen to know that the capacity of the Aviva is 51,700. So here’s something for you to ponder. What if we told you that 41,360 of that maximum capacity is suffering from a disease? And even more bizarre, what if we told you that it’s the same disease afflicting them all.
 

Well, before you think we’ve finally lost it, the statistical odds of this happening are spot-on. Because at any one time, it's estimated that eight out of ten people are suffering from the disease in question – which happens to be gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.


You may feel that this degree of ubiquity on the part of gum disease couldn’t possibly be true, but trust us that it is. The reason so many people have it is that it exists as anything from a severe case to a very mild case, in which the symptoms are barely noticeable. This is why so many of us walk around with a mild form of gum disease and don't even suspect it.
 

By way of explanation, let us tell you that the root cause of gum disease is the presence of harmful bacteria which thrive in the warm, moist conditions of the mouth. It's estimated that there are as many bacteria in the average mouth as there are humans on this planet.
 

And as if that’s not bad enough, bacteria multiply at a frightening rate. In a petri dish, in laboratory conditions, oral bacteria have been shown to double every twenty minutes. It’s likely that the rate is somewhat slower in the mouth, as we swallow a lot of bacteria.
 

This ability to multiply so quickly is the reason that we need to brush our teeth regularly, and also use other anti-bacterial measures such as rinsing with an appropriate mouthwash or brushing our tongue. Both of these actions will slow down the rate of multiplication and make sure that the degree of gum disease we might be suffering at any given moment is at the very lower end of the scale.
 

These millions of bacteria are never strong enough to attack the hard substances of the teeth, but they cause absolute carnage with the gums. And obviously, if the gums are undermined, then otherwise healthy teeth will eventually be at risk as their supporting structures weaken and collapse. The term periodontics, in fact, refers to these supporting structures.
 

And while your teeth can’t be directly harmed by bacteria, they can eventually cause very painful conditions such as a periodontal abscess, for example.
 

If you're alarmed by some of the figures that we’ve thrown out and would like to read a bit more on this topic, here’s a helpful article to start you on your way - http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/causes/periodontaldisease.html