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Gum Diseases

Gingivitis

06/29/2010

Question:

Is the following a valid statement? Statistically, it is estimated that 4 of 5 adults have some form of gum disease. If people were to begin flossing as children, and continue to floss as often or more often than brushing, say after every meal, there would be less presence of gum disease and/or related heart and gung disease, than if they had only flossed when somthing was stuck in between the teeth or below the gum line.

Answer:

YES, for some types of gum disease, it generally stays at the level of gingivitis. A certain percentage of the population has higher risk of developing periodontal disease (loss of periodontal tissue support). This is a disease primarily caused by bacteria.

So if you clean your mouth more routinely, you control the daily bacterial load better. However, it also depends on what type of bacteria you are carrying. Some bacteria are really toxic, and they do not have to be high in numbers to cause the damage. In addition, damage is determined in large part by how the body responds to this bacterial challenge. Some of us develop hyper-responsitivity to a small bacterial challenge, and this response is the main reason that we have severe tissue loss even with fairly good oral hygiene.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University