You notice that they seem to be people from all walks of life. As you look around the room, you realize that they could easily be your neighbor, your baker, your dry cleaner, your boss. They are just average people, people just like you and me, sharing a common problem – one that is shunned from all but the most intimate conversations.
It is the unspoken, unsung, and truly unwanted ‘something’ that lurks in the darkness. It is hidden away in the closet. It is a shared malady that is so seldom discussed that people tend to think they are the only one with it. No one wants to talk about it.
It is such a big problem that an entire industry is built around it.
Because it is so seldom discussed, the awareness of it is stifled. Though it runs rampant in a hidden, secretive way, it is everywhere. Virtually omnipresent, it remains in that hazy ether of unawareness. It’s just not on the radar for most people.
It does have a name, a plain, simple and unassuming designator consisting of just three syllables: gum disease. How could something with such a humble, innocent sounding nomenclature cause so much trouble for humanity? Yet, it does.
Those people in the waiting room would be surprised to learn just how many people do have it. What a shock to discover that your neighbor has implants or your mailman has dentures. So many people are affected, suffering silently.
Who would want to talk about it? Why should it even be brought up? It’s just one of those unpleasant, inescapable facts of life that you must endure. Or is it?
No one is quite sure how many people have it or will get it. Statistics vary between forty and eighty percent of people. One medically oriented website says that 95% of people 65-years-old and beyond have gum disease. But it can strike much younger and often does. Even children can get it.
Like many people, I was shocked to learn that I needed a SRP treatment. SRP stands for ‘Scaling and Root Planing’. SRP is a deeper cleaning that involves scraping and smoothing the root surfaces in order to get rid of built up plaque and tartar. Unpleasant? Sometimes they need to give you anaesthetic to get through the procedure.
Thus began my journey of discovery. I knew I wasn’t going to get a SRP treatment. I was determined. Like Columbo, I was going to get to the bottom and uncover the truth of the matter. “Mam, I just have one more question…”
After painstaking effort and long hours of searching, I finally found success in hunting down answers and an alternative to the SRP treatment. My hard efforts paid off for once in my life.
Today, because of my commitment to maintaining dental health I make frequent trips to the periodontist’s office. That’s where I see them – the other patients. These are the people who know. But what about the others, the people who don’t know what lurks in the closet? They are everywhere.
I get my teeth cleaned about once every two months. I find this works well towards keeping my gums healthy. Even with this frequent cleaning schedule and excellent home care habits, I still routinely see 4mm pockets. Anything above 3 is considered a problem.
Yet, my problems were much worse a few years ago. I felt isolated. Because so many people have gum disease, but no one talks about it. Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? I found some simple answers that really should be common knowledge. However, like gum disease itself, those answers have remained hidden outside the realm of mainstream knowledge for some unfathomable reason.
Professional care is important. But without good home care procedures, just going to the dentist won’t be enough. This is where my detective work paid off. I found the home care solutions I was looking for.
No man or woman is a rock and no one is an island. If you or a loved one has gum disease, you are not alone. Start with professional care at a periodontist’s office and do everything you can to discover the home care methods that can help save your teeth and keep your gums healthy.