No need to go to a haunted house to be scared by the ghoulish figure jumping out from a dark corner. These statistics on oral health will give you a fright. But just like that haunted house, there is a way to escape! Here are four eye-opening statistics and what you can do to have a hauntingly healthy smile.
1. Tooth decay is a chronic condition
Although cavities are preventable, many people get at least one in their lifetime. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 91% of American adults have had at least one cavity in a permanent tooth. Tooth decay can be found early by visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. You can safeguard your smile from cavity-causing bacteria at home by brushing, flossing, and limiting your sugar consumption.
2. Gum disease is prevalent among Americans
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of adults in the U.S. who are 30 and over have some form of gum disease. This is a preventable infection caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar buildup. The first stage, called gingivitis, causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It can be treated without causing long-term damage, but you can lose your teeth if it reaches advanced stages. The key is early prevention! Your dentist can treat any early signs of gum disease and an excellent oral hygiene routine will help keep your gums healthy.
3. Your teeth may not last forever
Your teeth are designed to last for a lifetime, but that doesn’t happen for many Americans. Despite the latest advancements in dentistry, many people suffer from tooth loss. According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), roughly 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. In addition, approximately 40 million Americans are missing all their teeth. An incomplete smile can affect your eating habits and your self-confidence. There is a common theme now with these statistics: early prevention is key. Visit your dentist twice a year for your checkups and cleanings so that scary tooth loss does not have to be a reality for you!
4. There are up to 650 species of bacteria in your mouth
According to researchers, you have about 400 to 650 different species of bacteria living in your mouth. If you cringe at the thought of a germy smile, some bacteria are crucial for optimal oral health. There must be a balance between good and bad bacteria to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Improving your oral hygiene habits is a quick way to neutralize harmful microorganisms hiding in your mouth. Consistently brushing twice a day for at least 2 full minutes and flossing daily are great ways to frighten the bad bacteria away!
These statistics are scary but it’s never too late to prioritize your smile. With early prevention and maintaining your regular oral health routine, your mouth can be happy and healthy!
About the Author
Dr. Rodger Song and his tight-knit team at Bridlewood Dental love to help keep Flower Mound and the surrounding areas cavity-free! He graduated from the Baylor College of Dentistry, one of the top schools in the nation, and has been practicing preventive dentistry for over 30 years. With comprehensive checkups, one of his top priorities is safeguarding your smile! To schedule one of your bi-yearly appointments or to learn more about how to scare away any dental problems, contact him through his website or call (972) 945-7587.