Periodontal disease (also called "gum disease") is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is caused by certain bacteria that are found on teeth and in the spaces between the teeth and gums. Diagnosing gum disease and getting appropriate treatment is important. Why? Because if left untreated, the disease can progress, which may lead to tooth loss. On top of that, research continues to show that gum disease may have an effect on several serious health conditions. This means that having regular dental check-ups and any needed treatment for gum disease is important not only for your mouth, but for your overall well-being.
Don't Become a Statistic
Gum disease is the most significant dental disease affecting adults. According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.1 The good news is that it's treatable, and like many other health conditions, the earlier you diagnose and treat, the better the outcome.
Are You At Risk?
This tool is designed to help you and your dentist identify factors that might increase your risk for gum disease. Take the quiz by clicking on the link below and share the results with your dentist at your next dental check-up.
Please note that this tool serves to provide a guideline as to your risk for gum disease. It is possible to have this disease without obvious warning signs, which is why regular dental checkups are so important.
1 "Periodontal Disease Fact Sheet" American Academy of Periondontology, accessed October 2015.
Douglass, Chester W., DMD, PhD, "Risk assessment and management of periodontal disease," Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 137, November 2006, p. 275-325.; Ira B. Lamster, DDS, MMSc, "Antimicrobial mouthrinses and the management of periodontal diseases: Introduction to the supplement," Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 137, November 2006, p. 5s-9s.; Eke, Paul I. and Genco, Robert J., "CDC Periodontal Disease Surveillance Project: Background, Objectives, and Progress Report," Journal of Periodontology, Vol. 78, No. 7 (Suppl.), p.1366-1371.; "American Academy of Periodontology Statement on Risk Assessment," Journal of Periodontology, Vol. 79, No. 2, p. 202.; "Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Periodontal Diseases," Journal of Periodontology, Vol. 77, No. 9, p. 1607-1611.
This tool is for informational purposes only and intended to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper dental care provided by a dentist.
Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied in this document. Always consult with your doctor or dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations.