Ok, so Drag racing might not be really saving lives, but it is raising awareness about a topic rarely talked about in America – gum disease. Although 85% of US adults have some level of gum disease, most don’t know they have it – and worse, very few will receive successful treatment.
Dan Boyko, DDS, is passionate about racing and saving teeth with the LANAP protocol. He has been racing since he was 16 , and was trained as a LANAP clinician in 2015. I had the opportunity to share these passions with him in picturesque Cecil, Georgia at the No Mercy Outlaw Racing event October 6-9, 2016.
Racing to Raise Awareness of Gum Disease
Dr Boyko hails from Winnipeg, Canada, 1900 miles away from the South Georgia Motorsports Park. This year, he used the trailer that hauls his race car from home to the track to ‘drive’ awareness about gum disease and treatment options. The entire trailer was wrapped in a message intended to increase public education about True Regeneration – re-growing the alveolar bone, cementum and periodontal ligaments needed for full oral function. Untreated gum disease eats away at these three critical components leading to tooth loss and a shorter life! One study documented that losing your teeth shortens your life by 10 years, and the overall quality of life is less than those who have their teeth.
LANAP clinicians will tell you they are met with disbelief – from both patients and peers – when they show the x-rays that show the bone growing back around the teeth after treatment. It seems odd to be met with this resistance when the photos are right in front of you, but Dr Boyko explained it’s because there is just no other gum disease treatment option with the same combination of patient experience and results, even he was skeptical before seeing the results in his own patients.
Raising Awareness = Raising Hope
At the track in Georgia, there was a bit of disbelief in patient’s eyes – but more often there was hope. There was amazement at the prevalence of the disease, and its link to other systemic diseases – stroke, heart disease, breast cancer, pre-term birth, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more. I heard “Wow, I didn’t know that” more times than I can count today. Dr. Boyko mentioned he was approached several times at gas stations and rest stops on his drive down with questions about laser gum disease treatment.
Patients truly do want to keep their teeth and keep their health. It’s time to start talking about gum disease rather than accepting that gum disease is a silent disease that isn’t acknowledged or talked about. There is a laser treatment option that is safe, effective, and FDA cleared for True Regeneration. If drag racing can begin those conversations, then drag racing just might save lives.