No one ever expects to get gum disease, but you’d be surprised by how common it is. The CDC estimates that about half of all Americans over the age of 30 will suffer from gum disease at some point. Far too many of these people don’t even know that they have the condition until it has already done severe damage and necessitated expensive treatments. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to avoid gum disease if you visit your dentist for two routine checkups per year. Keep reading to learn how you can prevent gum disease and save money by making the most of your dental insurance benefits.
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria-filled plaque builds up in your mouth, usually due to poor oral hygiene. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is often unnoticeable in the early stages. You might experience light bleeding when you brush or floss, but many people don’t report symptoms to their dentist until the advanced stage. While early gum disease can typically be reversed, late-stage gum disease can only be managed, not cured.
When gum disease isn’t treated, it may cause the gums to permanently recede from the teeth, or the jawbone to weaken. As a result, gum disease is the most common reason for tooth loss in adults. The condition has also been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and a host of additional overall health problems.
Treating Gum Disease Can Be Expensive
As you may have guessed, treating a potentially lifelong condition like gum disease can strain your wallet. Routine periodontal treatments like scaling and root planing must be performed every few months, which can rack up a hefty bill over time. You may also end up needing periodontal surgery in order to prevent severe oral health consequences like tooth loss or to address gum recession. Naturally, surgical procedures aren’t exactly cheap, and dental insurance is unlikely to fully foot the bill.
You also have to consider the costs of other conditions related to gum disease. For example, managing type 2 diabetes that develops alongside gum disease can take a toll on your bank account. So can suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.
Save Money (and Avoid Headaches) with Preventive Dental Care
One easy way to avoid gum disease (besides daily at-home brushing and flossing) is to attend two routine dental checkups each year. During these visits, your dentist will evaluate your gums for signs of infection that you may not have even noticed yet. They may be able to intervene before irreversible harm has occurred. Plus, your dental insurance plan likely covers two preventive visits a year, so you’d essentially be wasting money by skipping them!
If you can prevent gum disease, you’ll be doing your smile, your health, and your wallet a huge favor. Remember to make the most of your insurance benefits by scheduling your next dental checkup today!
About the Practice
At Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists, we have three skilled periodontists who are dedicated to helping the members of the Colorado Springs community avoid severe gum disease and maintain healthy smiles. We offer a wide range of periodontal services, from scaling and root planing to gum grafting to dental implants for replacing lost teeth. Our team is happy to handle the process of filing your dental insurance claims and maximizing your benefits. To learn more about preventing gum disease, contact us today at (719) 574-4867.