Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed or swollen.
Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, “pockets” form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm, may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.
There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
Insurances typically allow participants to receive cleanings twice a year. They understand that preventative dentistry is important and decreases the chances that a patient will have to undergo some of the larger procedures. Consequently most insurances will cover the entire cost of cleanings.