Over the years, your dentist has probably told you the importance of maintaining healthy oral hygiene. Not only is caring for your teeth important, but so is maintaining the health of your gums, as this limits the presence of plaque and bacteria, giving you a great smile and fresh breath. However, sometimes there are circumstances that arise such as illnesses, medication, or stopping of good oral hygiene, all allowing plaque to build up and cause gum disease. While this is something that no one intends on getting, it is a serious concern that can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and painful gums. But what exactly is gum disease, and what are the costs of its treatment? In this post we’re going to examine this topic a little closer and take a look at:
In order to get a better grasp on what the costs of gum disease treatments are, it helps to understand what gum disease is in the first place. Gum disease (also called periodontitis refers to when bacteria is allowed to grow and multiply in your mouth unchecked, eventually leading to the buildup of plaque and tartar—which is very hard to remove and can lead to tooth decay. Gum disease is often preceded by gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums that typically comes before full gum disease. Gingivitis occurs when plaque is allowed to build up, inflaming the gums and causing them to bleed when brushed, or become painful to the touch.
If plaque buildup is left unchecked, it will begin to release an acid that starts to attack the enamel of your teeth, hardening into tartar that’s difficult to remove. If the tartar is not removed professionally, it will continue to irritate the gums and develop into gingivitis.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of gingivitis, there is still time to correct it before it turns into gum disease. Maintaining a good schedule of oral hygiene that includes brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular trips to the dentist can stop gingivitis before it progresses into gum disease. Source: https://www.interdent.com/gentle-dental/resources/what-is-periodontal-disease-infographic/
If the progression of gingivitis is not stopped, there is a good chance that it will develop into gum disease. Over time the gums begin to pull away from the teeth as more bacteria spreads, weakening the connection of the tooth to the bone. Toxins from the bacteria eventually start to break down what connects the tooth to the bone, allowing them to become loose, and eventually fall out. Gum disease is something that no one wants to experience, but it is the main reason behind why many adults lose their teeth.
Although gingivitis due to poor oral hygiene and the buildup of plaque is the main reason why people develop gum disease, there are other variables at play that can make someone more susceptible to periodontal disease.
Although many people know the symptoms of gingivitis (bleeding, sore gums) if you have progressed into gum disease, there should be other symptoms that you’re aware of. If you notice your teeth starting to shift, or your gums are starting to look smaller because they are pulling away from the teeth, this could be a sign of gum disease. Bad breath and a persistent bad taste in your mouth could also mean that there is something seriously wrong.
Even if there are other influencing factors that have a part in determining whether or not you’re likely to develop gum disease, it’s good to know that it is preventable! If you want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep both your teeth and gums healthy and prevent gum disease, make sure include these in your routine:
Many people think they can get away with not flossing and just rely on brushing their teeth. While teeth brushing is important, flossing gets in between the teeth to remove the food particles and plaque that brushing may leave behind. Dentists are always telling their patients to floss at least once a day, and there is a very good reason for that.
Use a manual or electric toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste to brush morning and night. Getting into a routine of brushing both day and night ensures your teeth and gums are getting a good cleaning to remove food and bacteria twice a day. Make sure to brush for at least two minutes and ensure that you’re changing out your toothbrush every couple of months or when the bristles fray. Choose a brush that’s comfortable in your mouth, and keep the bristles soft.
Your dentist would love to see you and ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, so make sure to visit them at least twice a year. When you go in for a professional cleaning and checkup, your dentist can remove the plaque that you haven’t been able to reach, evaluate your teeth and gums, and see if there is anything going on in your mouth that needs a closer look, such as the symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease.
Smoking is bad for your health and it is definitely bad for your teeth and gums. Smoking can weaken your immune system, and it makes it harder for your gums to heal. If you’re looking for a reason to quit, the prevention of gum disease is a good one!
Mouthwashes are a great way to remove particles of food that brushing or flossing may have missed, although it is not intended to be a substitute to those activities. Look for a mouthwash with the American Dental Association seal so that you know it’s approved to fight gingivitis and reduce the occurrence of plaque.
If you stick to this routine, you’ll be in good shape to avoid gingivitis and gum disease. These actions can also help mitigate the onset of gingivitis, should you start to develop mild symptoms.
The treatments available for gum disease depend on which stage you’re at, as well as your health history. The best course of action is to schedule a time to speak with your dentist if you’re having concerns about how your teeth or gums feel, as they can always direct you towards the appropriate solution. Treatments for gum disease can include both surgical and non-surgical options.
If you find that you’ve developed some of the symptoms of gingivitis such as red, inflamed, and bleeding gums, it’s time to see your dentist for a professional cleaning. Ensuring that you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year is a good preventative measure to reduce the chance that you’ll develop gum disease. At a professional cleaning, your dentist/dental hygienist will remove the plaque and/or tartar from above and below the gum line, and in all the places that you can’t reach well with your toothbrush.
If they’re concerned that you’re at a higher risk of gum disease, they may recommend that you come in for a professional cleaning more than the typical two times per year. After your cleaning, it’s essential that you brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
If the plaque buildup is a little more advanced and cannot adequately be remedied by a professional cleaning, your dentist will then do a scaling and planing. In this type of procedure, you’ll typically get a local anesthetic and your dentist will go in and remove the plaque and tartar buildup from all sides of the gumline. They will then go in and smooth any rough spots that occur where the tooth root attaches to the gum, allowing it to successfully reattach. Scaling and planing removes bacteria buildup so that there is a clean plaque-free area for the gum to attach itself to the tooth.
If your gum disease is more advanced than what can be taken care of with cleanings, scaling, and planing, then there are surgical options.
If your gum disease is so advanced that the pockets of tartar and bacteria do not heal after scaling and planing, then surgery is necessary. With this procedure, your dentist will fold back your gums in order to get at the tartar and bacteria that is remaining. They may also need to smooth or contour the bone in order to reduce the places in which harmful bacteria can grow. Afterwards they will place the gums close to the tooth, which closes the pocket and allows the gum the chance to reattach to the tooth.
If a surgical option does not work, your dentist may recommend you remove the tooth entirely. After this is given time to heal, you will need to look into options to replacing the tooth with either an implant or dentures. Dentists recommend that you always replace missing teeth, as gaps can cause additional problems for your remaining teeth and gums.
No one wants to find out that they have symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease. However, if you find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you contact your dentist to treat it. The cost of these treatments depends on how advanced your gum disease is, and what option your dentist recommends.
If you are in the early stages of gum disease, your dentist will start with non-surgical options. If you are experiencing bleeding or inflamed gums due to gingivitis, you may be able to treat it successfully with a professional cleaning. Depending on where you are located, the cost of a dentist visit can vary, but you can expect to pay around $100 for a cleaning and check up with your dentist.
If you need a deeper cleaning that comes with a scaling and planing option, you will need to pay for more than just a regular cleaning. This type of procedure can cost around $140-$300. Keep in mind that your dentist will probably prescribe medications after this procedure to help prevent any additional infection and to allow your mouth time to heal. You should factor in the price of an anti-bacterial gel, pill, or mouth rinse on top of the actual visit to the dentist for the scaling and planing procedure.
If you’re going to need surgery to help treat your gum disease, your dentist will use anesthesia and proceed to use the pocket reduction procedure to clean out the tartar and bacteria that might be present underneath the gum. Afterwards the gums will be sutured into place in order to prevent additional growth of bacteria, and to ensure that they reattach to the tooth. This type of procedure can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 without insurance. You will also need to factor in the cost of antibiotics to take afterwards as your gums heal. If you have dental insurance, check your policy to see if it covers this type of surgery.
In some cases, bone grafts and tissue grafts may be needed in addition to the pocket reduction surgery. These are done to help regenerate any tissue or bone that has been lost due to gum disease. If your dentist decides that a procedure like this is necessary, that can cost an additional $600 to $1,200.
Depending on the stage of your gum disease, your dentist may prescribe either a non-surgical or a surgical treatment. These options have different price points, and depending on where you live, the range for each procedure can vary. The best way to get an accurate estimate on what the cost of gum disease treatment will be is to speak to your dentist. They will help you determine which is the best option for you.
After your gum disease treatment, it’s essential that you maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
After you get treatment for your gum disease, there are some tips for ensuring that you’re working to keep your gums and teeth happy and healthy. Depending on which procedure you needed, you may find that your teeth and gums are sensitive, and that you were prescribed medication. If this is the case, it’s important to follow the instructions of your dentist on what you can and cannot eat and drink, as well as how long you should be taking any medications. Ensuring that you stick to your customized treatment plan is the best way to have a successful gum disease treatment.
After your gum disease treatment, your dentist may ask that you come in for a cleaning and check up more often than the usual two times per year. They’re doing this so they can monitor the treatment’s effectiveness, as well as determine if you’re keeping up with your oral care at home. Depending on your situation, your dentist will develop a plan that allows them to check on your gums and ensure they’re healing and that you have not had any recurrence of gingivitis.
It’s essential that in order to successfully get rid of gum disease you follow a good oral hygiene routine. Remember, gum disease will not go away on its own, so the best way to fight it is with preventive steps. Remember to brush your teeth, gums, and tongue twice a day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride. Brush for two minutes at a time using either a manual or an electronic toothbrush.
Floss at least once a day, and use an ADA approved mouthwash, or a mouthwash suggested by your dentist to rinse. If you have experienced receding gums, you may find it easier to use picks or wider floss to get between your teeth, as opposed to traditional wax floss.
Smoking, including chewing and vaping, can weaken your immune system and makes it harder to eradicate gum disease. Tobacco use also puts you at a higher risk for cancers (including cancers of the mouth) so in order to ensure you maintain healthy gums and teeth after your procedure, it’s best to quit.
Try to avoid foods that contain a lot of added sugar or starch, as bacteria can feed on these, causing additional tooth decay, gingivitis, or gum disease. Making sure that you’re getting a balanced diet can also ensure that your immune system is operating properly. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, especially foods with vitamins and antioxidants. Balance this out by including lean protein and whole grain in your daily meals, and limiting sugary drinks.
Stress can cause problems for the immune system as well, and makes it even harder to consistently fight off infection. Include time for physical exercise, games, or meditation in order to work at reducing your stress levels.
These are some of the tell-tale signs of gingivitis:
If you’re noticing these signs, then it’s probably time to speak with your dentist. If you catch the symptoms of gingivitis before they develop into gum disease, you may be able to save yourself from having to undergo an expensive surgical treatment, or even having teeth pulled. Make sure that you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year, that way they can examine your gums for any early warning signs, and treat them right away. Don’t put up with painful gums, instead give your dentist a call and allow them to help you, no matter what stage of gum disease you’re in.
The earlier you catch gum disease, the better the chance you will not have to pay the high cost of surgery and medication. The costs of your visits to the dentist is a small price to pay to know your mouth is healthy, and you are gum disease-free!
*General industry pricing only. See your local Aspen Dental for specific pricing.
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