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Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontal Health

Whether you are experiencing oral pain and think you might need to visit a periodontist in Los Angeles, your dentist has told you to visit a periodontist, or you are concerned about your oral health in general, you very likely have some questions. From what periodontists are to the symptoms of periodontal disease, to whether your periodontal procedures are covered by Medicaid and Medicare, we compiled some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic in this article to help!

Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kao if you have any further questions!

What is “periodontal health” and what is a “periodontist”?

Periodontal health refers to the health of your gums, oral bones, and teeth. Periodontal disease is often a bacterial infection in your gums and bones that, if not treated, can lead to more serious infections and sometimes tooth loss. Studies now show that periodontal disease can spread to other areas of the body, so being aware of it is vital.

A periodontist is a dentist specializing in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal diseases and oral inflammation. They often treat patients with severe gum disease. Periodontists also specialize in the placement and maintenance of dental implants, cosmetic periodontal procedures, and a wide range of treatments often because of severe gum disease.

Who needs to see a periodontist?

While many patients’ periodontal needs can be serviced by their general dentist, many cannot. There are many oral conditions that a general dentist is not specially trained to recognize, diagnose, or maintain, so it is important to see a periodontist if you exhibit moderate to severe signs of periodontal disease. Some patients have very complex oral/medical history, in which case a partnership between periodontist and dentist can be formed.

Are periodontal treatments covered by Medicare or Medicaid?

Unfortunately, periodontal treatments are not covered by Medicare, as Medicare only covers medical treatments. Medicaid programs are run individually by each state, so your coverage depends on where you live. Check with your dental provider to find out if the periodontal treatment you need is subject to coverage.

What are the common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?

Unfortunately, periodontal disease might show little to no symptoms before it enters an advanced stage. If you see one of the following symptoms, it could be a sign you have periodontal disease and need to contact a periodontist or dentist right away!

● Persistent bad breath
● Red, swollen, tender gums
● Pain in your mouth
● Bleeding while flossing, brushing, or eating
● Receding gums
● Gums pulling away from the teeth
● Sores
● Loose teeth
● Separating teeth
● Pus between your gums and teeth
● Change in your bite
● Change in the fit of dentures

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?

Taking diligent care of your teeth and gums at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. Brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime, floss at least one time daily, and see your dentist for regular exams at least twice a year. Spending just a few minutes each day on your oral health can prevent you from major pain and expense down the road.

How is periodontal disease linked to cardiovascular disease?

Recent research has linked periodontal disease with a heightened risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are chronic inflammatory diseases, so it is thought that the inflammation might be what links the two. Furthermore, untreated periodontal disease can increase the inflammation in your body, which increases your risk of developing many more severe health issues, including cardiovascular disease. However, there is not conclusive evidence directly linking the two currently.

Can young people develop periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is rarely found in children and only occasionally found in adolescents. If you are a parent, be aware of warning signs for periodontal disease like red, swollen, bleeding gums or persistent bad breath. If your child develops these symptoms, tell a dental professional right away. Periodontal disease is seen primarily in adults and elderly people.

Periodontist in Los Angeles

If you have more questions about your oral health, or specifically periodontal health, please reach out to us today.

Periodontist Dr. Kao specializes in restoring and maintaining your complete oral health. At our office, we take the time before and after treatment to ensure your comfort and understanding. If you have questions about your periodontal health, or want to set up a consultation, please call to set up an appointment today!