- $69 for a dental exam, cleaning, and bitewing x-rays ($210 value)
Gingivitis: Gumming Up the Mouth's Works
A dental exam can help prevent, identify, or treat gingivitis, a common form of gum disease. Gargle some new knowledge with Groupon’s study of this treatable oral affliction.
Gum disease has afflicted humanity for ages, even leaving its signature on the grimaces of 4,500-year-old Egyptian mummies. One form, gingivitis, continues to thrive today and affects most people at least once in their lives. It’s often mild and painless, but, if left untreated, can lead to more serious oral diseases, rotted teeth, and constant explanations as to why you never took off your Darth Vader costume after Halloween.
Resulting from poor oral hygiene, unclean orthodontic appliances, or wider-reaching diseases such as diabetes, this potential smile killer begins to take root in plaque, the grimy band of bacteria and food particles that forms across the exposed portions of teeth. When left to sit for long periods of time, plaque creates hard deposits at the base of teeth called tartar, which produces its own brand of nasty bacteria that kicks the gingivitis into gear, inflaming and reddening normally firm, pink, photogenic gums. Once infected, gums usually bleed more easily and may even cause bad breath.
Because it's often painless, many people may not even realize they have gingivitis until it has caused other problems such as receding gums or periodontitis, which breaks down the bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. This is why it’s vital to maintain a preventative regimen that includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and scheduling regular visits to the dentist, who will chip away at the offending tartar and, if necessary, prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash.