Many people schedule biannual dental exams and cleanings as recommended by the American Dental Association. However, few people realize just how beneficial these practices are to their oral health.
Experienced dentists Thomas G. Zarger, Jr. knows the importance of at-home oral hygiene routines and professional dental care, including general dentistry services to prevent serious dental complications. Here, Dr. Zarger presents some dental care statistics that our Knoxville, TN patients should consider when it comes time to schedule their next dental exam and cleaning.
It is clear to Dr. Zarger that dental cavities are one of the most common concerns for his dental patients. Statistics collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that this is true of individuals across the United States. According to their data, nearly 78 percent of Americans will have at least one cavity by the time they reach the age of 17.
What is even more concerning is that around 16 percent of children and 23 percent of adults have had a cavity that they have left untreated. Cavities are so commonplace that many individuals fail to see the importance of cavity treatment.
A cavity alone may not greatly inhibit the health or function of the teeth, but without treatment, they will progress and can lead to more serious dental complications, including infection and tooth loss.
Statistics show that another common oral health concern is gum disease, or periodontal disease. Gum disease is a progressive condition that may advance through several different stages.
According to the CDC, 80 percent of Americans have experienced some form of gum disease. Furthermore, severe periodontal disease effects roughly 14 percent of adults aged 45 to 54, and approximately 23 percent of adults aged 65 to 74.
While gum disease affects men and women, statistically speaking, men are more likely than women to suffer from severe dental diseases, including periodontitis.
The best way to treat minor cases of gum disease and prevent more advanced stages of periodontitis is through good at-home oral hygiene practices and routine dental exams and cleanings. The staggering statistics regarding gum disease serve as a reminder of just how important these routine practices are to the maintenance of good oral health.
Fortunately, data tells us that most people understand the importance of oral hygiene practices and value the benefits of professional dental care.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, 95 percent of those surveyed said they believe that their oral health is critical to their overall well-being. As a result of this belief, about 85 percent of respondents said they prefer to visit the dentist twice a year to receive general and preventative dental services.
Although these numbers are promising, a little under 40 percent of those surveyed had actually been to the dentist within the past year. With increased dental visits, we would likely see a decrease in cases of cavities and periodontal disease.
Professional dental care supports good oral health and aids in the prevention of serious dental complications. If you are due for a routine dental exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr. at your earliest convenience.