Perio FAQs

Questions About Your Periodontal Health?

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is one of the most common chronic oral health issues, and is the leading cause of permanent tooth loss in the United States. It describes a progressive disease of the gums and periodontal tissues that support healthy teeth roots, and is marked by rampant inflammation that steadily grows worse as time goes by.

Are gingivitis and gum disease the same thing?

Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is the first stage of gum disease and begins when plaque and tartar develop on your teeth roots, underneath your gums. The inflammation can often be reversed with scaling and root planing (also known as deep cleaning, or periodontal cleaning). Scaling and root planing involves removing bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth roots to eliminate inflammation and allow your gums to heal. However, once gum disease forms, treating it will require more than just deep cleaning.

What does periodontal treatment mean?

In addition to scaling and root planing, treatment for periodontal disease may also include more frequent visits to your dentist’s office for ongoing maintenance. If your gum tissues have been irrevocably damaged, then you may require gum grafting to improve your gums’ health and appearance. If surgery is needed, then you may be referred to a trusted periodontal specialist to ensure that you receive the best treatment available.

Will my insurance cover my periodontal treatment and maintenance?

Because periodontal disease and its accompanying chronic inflammation can have an impact on your overall health, many dental insurance companies will cover varying portions of gum disease prevention and treatment. Every plan is different, so be sure to speak with your provider and your dentist to determine if your coverage includes gum disease treatment and how much you will be expected to pay out of pocket.

Is it too late to prevent tooth loss from gum disease?

One of the biggest reasons why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss is because its symptoms don’t always become obvious until significant damage has already occurred. Left untreated, gum disease can erode your periodontal tissues and jawbone structure until they are unable to adequately support all of your teeth. However, with a strict schedule of checkups and cleanings, combined with consistently good hygiene, you have a great chance of preventing gum disease or catching it before it leads to tooth loss.

Learn More About Periodontal Care

Find out more about the importance of periodontal health and we take good care of yours. To schedule a consultation, call Dental Impressions at (515) 965-0230. Since 2006, Dr. Foust has proudly served the residents of Ankeny, IA, as well as residents from Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and all surrounding communities.