“Great Dental Advice to Keep Your Pearly Whites Healthy”

Periodontal disease, or infection of the gums, is a “silent” disease that should be monitored by your dentist every three months once diagnosed, Dr. Marci Guthrie emphasized during her June 9, 2017 appearance on “Virginia This Morning,” televised on Channel 6. “Many people are not aware they have it,” she noted, although over 80 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the early, inflammatory stage of periodontal disease, she said.

Risk factors for gum disease include:

  • smoking
  • being age 65 or over
  • diabetes
  • stress

The bacteria associated with gum disease are “systemic,” Dr. Guthrie said, and have been implicated in heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease and low birth weight in pregnant women with untreated periodontal disease.

To protect yourself and your family from gum disease — which can be spread from sharing utensils or “kissing your significant other,” as Dr. Guthrie pointed out — daily brushing, flossing, rinsing with Listerine and using a Waterpik to irrigate your gum pockets are essential, she said.

“When we see patients who are 80 and over [who have all their teeth], we really celebrate that!” Dr. Guthrie said. Untreated periodontal disease gradually loosens teeth by destroying underlying bone. This tooth loss is preventable, but often leads to the need for dentures, Dr. Guthrie explained.

We invite you to WATCH THIS CLIP to learn more about periodontal disease and how to prevent it. Marci Guthrie, DDS, and her team at James River Family Dentistry are located at 2805 McRae Road, Richmond, VA and can be reached at (804) 323-4200.