Your Dental Checkups may help Prevent Cancer

Categories: Gum Disease

regular dental checkupsSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Going to the dentist is quite unpopular by a lot of people in the U.S., mostly due to a fear of the dentist or financial constraints. However, a new study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that regular dental checkups help prevent gum disease, which has been linked to cancer.

Researchers gathered 7,500 adults with gum disease, and those subjects not only had more incidents of cancer but also had a higher morbidity rate during a 15 year follow up. The patients who presented with severe cases of gum disease had a 24 percent increased risk of developing cancer; the risk of lung cancer was doubled, and colon cancer had a substantially higher risk as well.

Talk about getting right to the point! These new findings could be quite scary if you are someone who has gum disease. Do you know if you have gum disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, many people are completely unaware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease or don’t care too much about getting treatment for it. Let’s take a look at the signs of gum disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, dentists in the Los Gatos area at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry encourages you to get a checkup right away and begin treatment.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease presents as an active infection in the mouth that affects the teeth, jawbone, and gums. Symptoms may include:

  • Bad breath
  • Sore or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Missing teeth

One of the most common symptoms of gum disease is bleeding, especially when brushing or flossing. If your gums experience this symptom or any of the above-mentioned symptoms, see the dentist immediately, your health and even your life could be at risk!  What the study doesn’t mention is something that professionals in the dental world have known for a while – that gum disease increases one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

What are my options?

When it comes to gum disease, treatment is unique for each patient. In the earliest stage known as gingivitis, it can be treated with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. As long as the disease is stopped, it shouldn’t progress as long as you follow through with good oral hygiene habits and regular trips to the dentist for checkups and cleanings. However, if your gum disease is in the later stages known as periodontitis, more aggressive treatment may be needed such as laser periodontal therapy in which we use a precise dental laser to remove the dead gum tissue and kill any bacteria lingering in the pockets that have formed around your teeth. The most important thing is to get your gum disease treated because ignoring it is just too risky.

How can I prevent gum disease?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to take good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. Plus, be sure that you visit your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups. While many people are diligent about their at-home oral hygiene, it’s the checkup part that they put off because of their dental fears. If this sounds like you, ask us about sedation dentistry available in the Los Gatos area at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry.

Gum disease treatment in Scotts Valley

If you would like to schedule a consultation to determine if you have gum disease, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry at (831) 438-4411. We welcome patients of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.