By: Adrian Pawlowski
Known as the largest and oldest dental society in the world, the American Dental Association was founded in 1859. As a professional periodontologist and dentist who has been practicing in the industry for more than 30 years, I remain a member of this organization.
With more than 157,000 members in the U.S., the American Dental Association strives to further the dental profession and provide members with a resource for oral health-related information and research. This professional society upholds a mission to support individuals who are “committed to the public’s oral health, ethics, science, and professional advancement; leading a unified profession through initiatives of advocacy, education, research, and development of standards.” The American Dental Association comprises several internal groups that work to provide support for dentists and other oral health practitioners, as well as those in need of dental care.
Consequently, the American Dental Association started a foundation that offers scholarships for dental students. This philanthropic cause also campaigns for adequate oral health for children and provides relief to victims of natural disasters. Members of the American Dental Association are encouraged to donate and support this foundation. In addition to this charitable cause, the American Dental Association created a seal program that reviews oral health products such as floss, toothbrushes, toothpastes, and chewing gum. Recommended items receive the organization’s seal of acceptance, which is a symbol that represents safety and quality.
The American Dental Association maintains a solid reputation of being the country’s principal supporter of proper oral health, and I receive many benefits through my membership with the organization. Other professional dental societies I belong to include the American Board of Periodontology, the American Academy of Implantology, and the International Congress of Oral Implantology.
by Dr. Adrian Pawlowski
As a periodontist with more than 30 years of helping patients, I find that may patients do not understand which factors affect their risk of developing gum disease. Below, I list the most common risk factors.
If you have some of these risks, seek advice from a qualified periodontist.
1. Studies show that about 30 percent of the population is genetically pre-disposed to gum disease. If someone in your family has had gum disease, then you may be six times more likely to develop the condition, even if you brush and floss aggressively.
2. If someone in your home suffers from periodontal disease, then you are at increased risk, because the bacteria present in gum disease can pass via saliva.
3. As you age, your risk of developing gum disease rises.
4. Women have a higher risk of periodontal disease than men because of hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout their lives. Pregnant women are especially at risk of developing the condition.
5. Tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for developing periodontal disease. In those who are already genetically susceptible, tobacco use can speed up the progression of the condition.
6. If you have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, or an inflammatory condition, then your risk may be higher. Studies have established a link between these conditions and periodontal disease.
7. If you do not see a dentist regularly, then your risk for the condition may be higher. Twice a year dental cleanings can lower your risk.
8. People who do not floss regularly have a higher risk for periodontal disease.
9. If your gums are receding or your teeth appear to be longer than they once were, you may already be experiencing some form of gum disease.
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