Prevent Periodontal Disease with a Dental Discount Plan
By Donna Pleis
Periodontal (gum) disease is a preventable condition, yet it affects almost half of the American population, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and it’s the most common reason for tooth loss in adults. While these are disturbing statistics, your teeth and gums can remain healthy for a lifetime when you know the cause of gum disease and how to prevent it. And believe it or not, a dental discount plan is another tool that can help you fight this sneaky disease and save you money.
Cause of Periodontal Disease
Bacteria in the mouth continually form a sticky film on the teeth called plaque—especially around the gum line. When allowed to remain on the teeth, bacterial plaque hardens into tartar, which causes the gums to become inflamed and swollen. But the good news is, this first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed, and your gums can become healthy again.
However, if gingivitis progresses, the gums become further inflamed and form loose pockets around the teeth. Bacteria trapped in these pockets ultimately cause the breakdown of bone and tissue supporting the teeth. This stage is called periodontitis, and while it can be treated, it is not reversible. And if too much bone is lost, one or more teeth may need to be removed.
Signs and Symptoms
Gum disease is frequently called “insidious” because it can be painless and damage your gums and bone without you knowing it. Therefore, if you should notice any of the following symptoms, see a dentist right away.
- Red and swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Continual bad breath
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
Preventing Periodontal Disease
It’s much easier (and cheaper) to prevent periodontal disease than treat it. And here are three important tips that will keep your gums and your pocketbook in the best of health.
- Good Homecare Routine — The American Dental Association recommends thoroughly brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. But that’s not enough. You need to floss once a day to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach.
- Regular Dental Visits and Cleanings — Dentists usually recommend routine dental visits twice a year. This gives your dentist the opportunity to regularly examine and assess the health of your gums; so little problems can be treated before they become big problems. In addition, professional cleanings done twice a year are needed to remove plaque and tartar before it has a chance to do any damage.
- Dental Discount Plan — Lack of dental insurance often keeps people from seeing a dentist for routine visits. But it’s these routine visits that are necessary to prevent periodontal disease. However, an affordable dental discount plan can save you up to 50% on dental services when you see a dentist who accepts the plan. And you’ll have no out-of-pocket expense due to deductibles, yearly maximums, or waiting periods.
Whether you’re looking to save money on routine exams and cleanings or you need early treatment for periodontal disease, click on the link to the right to access a Confident® dental discount plan through Careington®. Don’t wait to put your dental health in good hands — see a Careington® participating dentist today.