What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums. It is also the leading cause of tooth loss in this country. If you have an early stage of gum disease, you might notice blood when you brush and floss. This stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, and it can be reversed if it is caught early.
The later stage of gum disease, called periodontitis, cannot be cured although it can be managed. Common signs of periodontitis include bleeding gums, swollen gums that have formed pockets full of pus, and bad breath.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease.
In some cases, periodontal disease is present without any symptoms at all, and only your dentist can tell whether or not your gums are healthy. This is why regular visits to the dentist for routine examinations and cleanings are so important.
If you have a more advanced stage of gum disease, you may have to pay a copay when you come in for a cleaning. This is because typical dental insurances pay for two preventive cleanings each year. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease or you haven’t had a cleaning in a while, you may require more proactive periodontal treatment. Frequently, dental insurance provides only partial benefit for those types of treatment, so you are responsible for the rest.
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