Gum disease and treatment is one of the most common concerns I hear from new patients. The first visit goes a little like this ... Me: Hi there nice to meet you, thank you for choosing our office before we begin are there any concerns that you have? Things you liked about your previous dentist or things you did not? New patient: My last dentist told me I have to have all this deep cleaning and I knew right then that they were “upselling” me. I didn’t feel comfortable and I left.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a tough one. Firstly, 47.2% of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease in the United States (current statistics from the Centers for Disease Control). So it is pretty common.
Secondly, it usually doesn’t hurt. So patients don’t know they have it unless they have blood on their toothbrush after brushing or during brushing. Thirdly, gum disease is related to HEART Disease, that’s right HEART Disease! Gum disease increases the likelihood of heart disease by approximately 20 % (Healthline). Additionally, gum disease now shows relationship to diabetes, arthritis and pre-term birth. Gum disease is bad for your teeth and bad for your health.
Now the “upselling” question.
If you feel uncomfortable with the diagnosis and or treatments being offered. I recommend a second opinion. Most dentists are very receptive to recommending second opinions and pleased when patients learn the most they can about any condition. I want to be clear if more than one dentist tells you any of the following: you have deep pockets, you have inflammation in your gums, your gums are bleeding, you have exudate (pus) around any area, you need a deep cleaning, you need laser therapy for your gums, then you are being diagnosed with gum disease/periodontal disease and these other ways of saying it are just that Other Ways of saying you have gum disease and need treatment.
I am not saying there aren’t cases where treatment maybe over prescribed, there are. But if you get a second opinion and it is any form of the same answer well then, you have gum disease. See your dentist and get it treated. Keep your teeth and your body healthy!A beautiful smile is a healthy smile and that is Beauty Observed.
Jenifer C. Back DMD
Sarasota Smile Design
3800 Clark Rd.