At Ostenson Dental, our staff strives to make every visit to our Vancouver dental office a relaxing and comfortable experience. Because your oral health is our number one priority, Vancouver dentists Drs. Gary and Kyle Ostenson want to educate patients on what it takes to maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.
Preventive oral care is by far the most important step any patient can take to avoid the risks associated with tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing daily, combined with scheduling regular oral cleanings and checkups with Dr. Ostenson, rank as vitally important to the long-term protection of your oral health.
Unfortunately, many people don’t seem to understand the risk their oral health faces if they neglect preventative care, finds the results of a new study.
The Need to Educate
According to the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 91 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 to 64 suffer from tooth decay, clinically referred to as dental carries. The high prevalence of tooth decay helps to reinforce the importance of preventive oral health care.
“This report reinforces the need for greater attention to prevention as it related to oral health,” said President of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association in response to this latest study. “Effective strategies for assessing caries risk and management are well-documented in current scientific literature, and yet the condition remains prevalent, and is even increasing in vulnerable populations.”
As part of the study, researchers focused on ethnicity and age as related to the prevalence of tooth decay, untreated cavities, number of remaining permanent teeth, and total edentulousness, the loss of all permanent teeth.
The study determined that while adults most likely to suffer from tooth decay were non-Hispanic white, the ethnic groups most likely to suffer from untreated cavities were Hispanic and African American. African American adults also had the highest risk of suffering from total tooth loss, as well.
As people continue living longer, the factors that affect oral and overall health continue to become increasingly complex as the American population grows older. The results of this study could help provide oral health providers with the information needed to develop an evidence-based approach to preventive oral care and disease management, stated researchers who hope that greater awareness will promote better individual care.
Protecting Your Oral Health
Tooth decay and gum disease possess very real risks to your long-term oral health, and taking the steps to prevent the development of dental carries now can pay off in the end. Failure to maintain and improve your oral health can increase your risk of a variety of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
If you have any questions about the best practices for protecting your oral health, feel free to ask Vancouver dentist Dr. Ostenson or any member of our friendly staff.