Are you drawn to a dazzling smile? Approximately one-third of American adults report first noticing a smile when meeting someone they find attractive. However, poor oral hygiene can harm not only your smile but also your overall health.
US reality TV show contestant Trista Sutter (The Bachelor) knows how to make a good first impression, and she is joining forces with the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) in a public awareness campaign on the importance of healthy gums.
“I believe in being grateful for, and loving, what we have, and the gums we are given are the gums we have for life,” says Trista. “I personally have always tried to take good care of my teeth but like many people, I didn’t know I should be doing more to take care of my gums.
“This is why I believe the AAP’s campaign to Love The Gums You’re With is so important. Everyone should understand the importance of keeping their gums healthy.”
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is surprisingly common. It occurs in half of American adults aged 30 and older. The condition – caused when bacteria in plaque forms below the gum line – can lead to swelling, irritation, and possibly receding gums and tooth loss.
Gum disease may affect more than just your smile. Symptoms such as red, swollen gums and bad breath may be signs of a person’s health beyond his or her mouth. Gum disease has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Not only can gum disease affect your overall health, it can also affect your personal life.
The AAP recommends brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation to help prevent gum disease.
It is treatable, and, in many cases, reversible with the right care. If you suspect you are at risk for gum disease, you should talk to a periodontist about your gum health. A periodontist is a dentist who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums. He or she can also provide a personalised treatment plan.
Check out the AAP’s Facebook page at bit.ly/loveyourgums or
@PerioNews on Twitter for tips and resources, including some fun educational information and a message from Trista about the importance of gum health.
Trista adds: “Your gums will be grateful for the extra attention.”