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Common Questions

Is there a connection between gum disease and heart disease?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an inflammatory disease. Heart disease is also an inflammatory disease. It is suspected that 'inflammation' may be the foundation behind their relationship. If left untreated periodontal disease can increase inflammation in the body - increasing inflammation within your cardiovascular system. However, more research is needed to determine the exact relationship between the two conditions.

Is there a link between gum disease and diabetes?

Research has suggested people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. Since periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums, people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal problems. One of the most common complications of diabetes is in fact periodontal disease. Likewise, research suggests that periodontal disease can affect blood sugar levels in turn increasing risk for diabetes.

Are periodontal treatments covered by Medicare or Medicaid?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any dental treatments. Since Medicaid programs are run by each individual state, coverage is going to vary from state to state. You will need to check with your dental care provider to determine coverage in your state.

Can my child develop periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is not common in children and rarely found in adolescents. Despite the low risk your child has in developing periodontal disease, they should still develop good hygiene habit while they are young. Children, like adults, should brush their teeth twice a day and learn how to floss properly.

The warning signs for gum disease are the same in children as in adults. Periodontal disease may appear as red, swollen, bleeding gums or bad breath that won’t go away. If your child develops any of these symptoms, contact your dental professional right away. Since family health history and genetics may play a role in the development of periodontal disease, it is important to inform these matters to your dentist if any signs of periodontal disease develop.

What do periodontists do?

Most periodontists spend the majority of their time diagnosing and treating periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontists are also experts in placing dental implants, diagnosing and treating oral cancer, correcting gum recession or crown lengthening if too much gum covers the teeth. Along with your general dentist, periodontists are also expert dentists that can help you develop oral hygiene habits and oral care.

What are common symptoms of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease often begins without pain or discomfort. Some of the sings that you may notice will include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums may be tender or exhibit pain
  • Gums may bleed while brushing, flossing, or when eating
  • Receding gums or gums that pull away from the teeth.
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath that won't go away
  • A change in your bite, or a shift in the teeth like crowding or spacing that didn’t exist before

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your dentist or periodontist and schedule an exam to determine the cause of your symptoms.

How much does an implant cost?

The costs of implants can often vary from periodontist, patient needs, materials used, etc. Dr. Saltz or Wilson is more than happy to discuss the financial obligations with your case.

Can my general dentist treat my periodontal disease?

Periodontists have extensive knowledge and experience with periodontal (gum) disease and are experts in treating the disease. For optimal results it is best to use a collaboration between your periodontist and your general dentist. This approach will ensure you are receiving the expert knowledge and treatment from the periodontist as your general dentist gives advice pertaining to your medical and dental history

Is gum disease contagious?

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria under the gums. Technically the disease is not contagious. However, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be spread through saliva. It’s a good idea to avoid contact with the saliva of individuals that are diagnosed with periodontal disease.

What are the consequences of missing teeth?

There are several consequences to missing teeth.

  • Affects the look of your smile
  • Affects the look of your face - sometime making skin sag; making you look older then you are.
  • Difficulty chewing your food properly
  • Affects your speech
  • Often promotes lower self-confidence
  • Difficulty in adding implants later as bone deteriorates without the supporting tooth.