Risk Assessment of Gum Disease


Periodontal disease is frequently caused by excessive bacterial plaque building up on the teeth and ultimately affecting the gums.  It is typically caused by a build-up of a sticky film called plaque beneath the gum line. The bacteria in the plaque causes the gums to become red, swollen, and even bloody. When this disease goes untreated, it may lead to compromised gum health, alveolar bone loss, or even potentially tooth loss. Inflammation from the bacteria, as well as other habits or environmental conditions—referred to as risk factors—can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease

What are the common risk factors for periodontal disease?

  • Age: Almost half of Americans 30 and older have some form of gum disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent.
  • Smoking/tobacco use: Smoking causes bone loss and gum deterioration. The more cigarettes smoked per day, the higher the risk of gum disease.
  • Genetics: Genetics often play a role in gum disease, as it usually occurs in members of the same family.
  • Stress: Stress can make it harder for the body to fight off infection, including gum disease.
  • Medication: Gum disease can be a side effect of some medications like oral contraceptives and antidepressants. Medications that cause dry mouth can increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Poor nutrition and obesity: A poor diet can make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Obesity may increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Lack of regularly brushing your teeth or flossing can cause bacterial build-up and plaque formation along the gum line.
  • Other systemic diseases: Recent studies have linked gum disease to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and erectile dysfunction. These and other systemic diseases could interfere with the body’s inflammatory system and may worsen the condition of the gums.

See a periodontist or dentist once a year for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to assess gum health. When experiencing any of the risk factors mentioned, have your periodontist or dentist look for early signs of periodontal disease.

Making yourself aware of these risk factors prevent getting periodontal disease and keep your teeth healthy.

How do dental professionals assess risk for periodontal disease?

Your periodontist, dentist, or dental hygienist will perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation, which examines your:

  • Teeth
  • Plaque
  • Gums
  • Dental occlusion
  • Bone structure
  • Risk factors

A periodontal evaluation will assess how healthy your mouth is. Based on the results, the periodontist will determine the best course of treatment for you. If you have a progressive periodontal disease, gum surgery is one of the treatment options.

How much is the cost of gum surgery?

Today dentists see many different types of conditions that require some level of gum surgery. A kind of situation in particular that ultimately damages gums is a progressive periodontal disease. This dental problem often requires gum surgery. There are many other kinds of surgical procedures related to the gums, including gum contouring, laser surgery, gum lift surgery, as well as reconstructive surgical procedures. 

One question that frequently comes up about gummy smile surgery is the actual cost that is involved with the procedure. In short, the cost of this type of dental surgical procedure depends mostly on the severity of the condition at hand. The cost of gum surgery can also rely on the patient’s geographical location and the specific dentist performing the surgical procedure. Keeping these simple facts in mind, the average cost of gum surgery will typically cost anywhere between $500 to as much as $5000. These prices can fluctuate considerably depending on the amount of work that is required as well as how many return visits are needed. It cannot be overstressed that the unique characteristics of each particular case will largely dictate the cost of the actual procedure.

In most instances, a typical price range would be from $3000-$5000 for general gum surgery. Costs may also vary depending on the type of gum surgery being performed. As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of surgical procedures designed to correct a broad range of gum disorders, problems, or conditions. Gum lift surgery, for example, can range in price up to about $3000. The many factors already discussed that can have an impact on this cost would also apply to gum lift surgery. In more complex cases where extensive surgery and additional return visits are required, the cost could easily range up to $8000 or more for gum surgery. Talking with your dental care provider or oral surgeon is always the first step in ascertaining the exact cost of the type of procedure needed.

Are There Any Extra Costs Involved With Gum Surgery?

The answer to this question is quite simple that if there are additional aspects of the surgery needed, then there will likely be an extra charge. The good news is that gum surgery is, in most cases, completely painless thanks to proper local or general anesthesia. Also, the recovery time related to gum surgery or periodontal surgery is relatively rapid when compared to other types of oral surgery procedures. That said, in most instances, the only additional cost involved with standard or routine gum surgery includes the cost of antibiotics as well as the expense of pain medication and other remedies used to address swelling of the gums. Preventing infection and reducing pain is an important part of any oral surgery.

Also, a follow-up appointment or visit may be necessary to ensure that the patient is healing as anticipated. A follow-up dental care appointment will be no different than any other type of dental office visit or examination. For example, the cost usually involved with a simple office visit can range anywhere from $80 to $180 per visit. As a note, more severe cases that demand additional work may incur additional fees as compared to traditional, non-complicated, and routine surgical procedures.

What Is Usually Included In The Cost Of Gum Surgery?

The costs outlined here typically include the use of the medical facility as well as the dental equipment needed to complete the surgical procedure successfully. Also, because gum surgery is considered to be a minor surgical procedure, in most instances, local anesthesia will be used in an outpatient setting. This serves to keep the cost down for patients while still resulting in the highest level of professional dental care possible.

For gum surgery, the surgical procedure itself involves the oral surgeon folding the gums back so that access to the root surface is made possible. Once the surgeon can reach the root surface, and all bacterial deposits are removed, and bone grafting that is required can then be completed. In cases where gummy smile surgery is performed, a simple incision is involved so that the orientation of the gums is effectively altered. Gummy surgery will usually range in cost between $3000 and $8000 depending on the overall complexity of the patient’s case.

One of the best ways to avoid surgery in the first place is to ensure that periodontal disease does not occur. This can significantly reduce the requirements for having to have gum surgery. In other cases, a natural deformity may require a surgical procedure. This is particularly the case of gummy smile surgery. Whatever the case may be, always talk with your dental care provider, oral surgeon, and insurance company to understand precisely what is involved with your unique and particular situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Omega Dental Specialists to make an appointment with our periodontist.

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