UPDATE: 2/21/14 10:53 AM
It affects more than 85 percent of Americans and is more prevalent than cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
February is Gum Disease Awareness Month.
Dr. Richard Newhart gave free teeth cleanings all day Thursday to raise awareness about the dangers of the disease.
He says a lot of people have it and don't even know.
“Teaching people about brushing and flossing, especially about the importance of flossing – that really can improve someone's health dramatically and prevent gum disease,” Newhart says. “The Mission of Mercy was really what inspired me to do this, and treating patients at WVUP, where we treated over 1,300 patients in about a 24-hour period of time.”
“Nice to know when you don't have insurance that somebody's still there trying to reach out and make a difference,” says Amber Baileys, a patient.
Newhart says this is the second year he offered the cleanings.
He had a great turnout and people came in who've never had their teeth cleaned in their life, so it was a big deal.
Governor Tomblin declares February Gum Disease Awareness Month.
Dr. Richard Newhart gives free teeth cleanings all day to get people on the road to better health.
He says a lot of people have gum disease and don't know it.
It's kind of painless until the teeth start to move or shift or the gums start to recede or an abscess forms.
Newhart is doing this to raise public awareness and give back to the community.