47% of Adults 30+ Years Old Have Some Form of This Health Affliction
Periodontitis is overlooked and ignored all too often. When periodontitis goes untreated, the consequences are devastating. It wages war on the human body, starting first with tissue damage and receding gums then progressing to bone damage and tooth loss. Eventually, it can contribute to systemic health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and many other serious, painful, and even life-threatening conditions. According to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention, 47% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of this terrible health affliction.
But what do you do when you start to notice signs of gum disease like bleeding when brushing your teeth or red, swollen gums, but you can’t afford treatment? Whether you’ve hit a financial rough spot or you can’t afford the rising cost of dental insurance, it’s stressful knowing that you need dental care but can’t afford it.
That’s where affordable dental treatment plans like Dr. Hasken’s Health-Focused Preventive Plan can help. Below, you will find more information on the importance of preventing and treating gum disease as well as the benefits of our Health-Focused Preventive Plan: The Periodontal Plan.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a serious oral health affliction that affects the structures which hold the teeth intact, keep them in place, and allow them to do their job. The gums, ligaments, and bones that hold the teeth in their proper position become infected and inflamed. Plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth and harden into tartar. Plaque irritates the gum tissue and can cause gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.
Periodontal Disease vs. Gingivitis – What’s the Difference?
These two terms are often confused with one another, but in fact refer to different stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is one of the earlier stages and is a warning sign that periodontitis may follow if symptoms are untreated. During this stage, the patient may notice swollen, red, or puffy gums, persistent bad breath, tender gums, or a receding gum line.
As the disease progresses, it evolves into the early stages of periodontal disease. During this stage, the gums begin to peel away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets harbor harmful bacteria. This is when the body’s immune system kicks into gear, and as a side-effect of trying to get rid of the bacteria, the gum tissue is destroyed. The body is doing everything it can to get rid of the bacteria, which is how this tissue damage occurs. Bleeding and pain around the teeth and gums often accompany this stage of the disease.
In the most advanced stages of the disease, the connective tissue that holds the teeth in place becomes weakened, damaged, and eventually destroyed altogether. This is when tooth loss occurs. The gums, bones, and structures of the mouth are in serious peril. The harmful bacteria infiltrates the body by leaking into the bloodstream. Inflammation occurs on a whole-body level. At this point, the patient is at severe risk of developing additional health issues like heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and stroke.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Anyone can develop gum disease, regardless of their age, race, gender, or background. Most often, gum disease occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. However, other factors such as smoking, hormonal changes, genetics, or certain medical conditions may increase the risk. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, there’s strong odds that you may have some form of gum disease:
• Tender, swollen, or puffy gums
• Dark crimson or bleeding gums
• Visible signs of bleeding which occur when brushing or flossing
• Chronic bad breath that persists over time
• Receding gums
• Pain when chewing
• Misaligned teeth
Preventative Treatment for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious issue in itself, but is also a major concern for the health of your entire body. Other bodily systems and organs can be seriously affected by this disease. That’s why it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums.
The best way to prevent gum disease is with good oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing your teeth and following the instructions provided by your dentist, you can seriously reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. Using a mouthwash can also reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria that builds up on your teeth. You should also try to refrain from habits like smoking and chewing tobacco. Eat plenty of vegetables, drink lots of water, and avoid sugary foods and beverages. And, of course, make sure to visit your dentist regularly for oral health exams and dental cleanings.
If you ever experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to seek professional care. Your dental health and overall health could be at risk. Dr. Hasken will advise you on what steps need to be taken next in order to restore your teeth and gums to a good, healthy condition.
McHenry Dentist Dr. Hasken Treats Periodontitis
Once gingivitis progresses and takes on the more serious form of periodontitis, it must be treated by a dental professional. At-home remedies that have been self-prescribed may only delay recovery and result in further progression of the disease.
The good news is, in many cases, periodontitis can be treated with non-invasive methods. Often, coaching and instruction from a dental professional can make a great difference and help the patient regain control of their dental health. In other cases, antibiotics or non-surgical periodontal therapy may be recommended. Bacterial DNA testing can be performed to identify what specific types of bacteria are present. “Deep cleaning” or root planing may also be recommended to remove plaque and bacterial deposits.
We Provide Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
The goal of non-surgical periodontal therapy is to control the infection and reduce the level of harmful bacteria present. This is usually accomplished through scaling and root planing, otherwise known as “deep cleaning.” Using specialized instruments, Dr. Hasken removes plaque and tartar that have latched onto the teeth, built up over time, and as a result are cemented above and below the gumline.
Dr. Hasken, DDS Proudly Offers OraVital Biofilm Testing
Dr. Hasken may recommend an OraVital test as part of your treatment plan. This is a quick and painless procedure. We’ll simply take a few quick swabs of your mouth so that we can collect bacteria and send it to the lab for testing. Once the results come back, we’ll go over them with you and discuss potential treatment options and next steps.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
We are able to treat most cases of gum disease. But in some instances, when the disease is particularly severe or aggressive, the care of a specialist, or periodontist, may be advised. In this case, we can refer you to one of our trusted partners. We will work closely with them to make sure that you get the care and treatment you need.
Affording Periodontal Care
We hope that, by now, we have made it clear that periodontal disease is a serious issue that should not be left untreated. If you find yourself in a position where you are concerned about your dental health but are unable to afford treatment, do not be discouraged. There are many financial options out there that are worth exploring.
Can Dental Insurance Help?
We get a lot of questions about dental insurance at our office, especially when it comes to periodontal treatment. Unfortunately, the way the most dental insurance is designed today is to provide a “cookie-cutter” approach to coverage. Neither the patient’s current dental health or history is considered. The state of dental insurance has changed dramatically over the years. The cost of dental procedures has increased but the scope of coverage, on the other hand, has shrunken. In other words, dental insurance may, depending on the plan, offset some of the costs, but may not cover the entire procedure.
Some dentists participate in PPO plans (Preferred Provider Organization) and charge a reduced fee for patients who are covered by these plans. However, in order to make up for the loss in revenue, these dentists often see a larger number of patients and therefore spend less time on each visit. In these situations, patients are rushed in and out the door and often do not get the proper care or attention they need to stay healthy.
We believe that every patient deserves quality dental care. This is true regardless of whether they have insurance or not. Unlike many other providers, we do not rush patients in and out the door. We will take the time to understand your goals and concerns and give you the chance to ask any questions that you may have. We want you to feel that you can trust us and that you are being taken care of and given the attention and compassionate understanding that you deserve. We will develop a truly customized treatment plan that aligns with your needs.
Our Health-Focused Preventive Plan
In an effort to ease the financial burden of dental care and periodontal treatment, we have created our own Health-Focused Preventive Plan. This plan includes preventative dental care, which is essential for maintaining your oral health, as well as a discount which applies to all services performed at our office.
Periodontal Plan Offer
For patients with periodontal health concerns, we recommend our Periodontal Plan. This plan starts at $395 per person per year. Here’s what it includes:
• Two annual exams
• Two periodontal maintenance cleanings
• X-rays given on a routine basis as part of your treatment plan
• One emergency exam (provided during regular business hours) or x-rays
• 15% off all other dental services performed at our office
• Dental plan member savings: 15%
While this plan may not cover treatment for more advanced forms of gum disease such as non-surgical periodontal therapy (“deep cleaning,”) it may help offset some of the costs. A 15% discount will be applied to the fee. Furthermore, all additional periodontal maintenance cleanings and treatment will also be discounted by 15%.
Get the Affordable Dental Care You Need
Dr. Hasken and our team are committed to helping you get the affordable dental care you need. If you have questions about periodontal treatment or gum disease or would like to learn more about our Health-Focused Preventive Plan, please contact our office. We will be happy to discuss your concerns in detail or help you schedule an appointment.
About James A. Hasken, DDS
Since 1987, Dr. James Hasken has been providing HEALTH-FOCUSED DENTISTRY in McHenry. Being Health-Focused means that we provide you with the information and coaching to help you toward your oral health goals. Our approach is INTEGRATIVE DENTAL MEDICINE which is about identifying how the BODY, BREATHING, BACTERIA, and BITE effects total health. This puts you, the patient, at the center with a focus on prevention, fostering the development of healthy behaviors, and skills for effective self-control and care that can be used for a lifetime to attain optimum health. The mouth is a reflection of total body health. We would love the opportunity to help you attain the level of total body health you desire. We serve many patients from McHenry, Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Spring Grove, Richmond, Genoa City, Twin Lakes, Wonder Lake, Island Lake, Johnsburg, Ringwood, Volo, Fox Lake, Lakemoor and Holiday Hills. We invite you to contact us today at 815-385-0777!