Cigna Dental’s New Online Tool Helps Provide the Answer
PHILADELPHIA, August 28, 2008 - “Do you frequently have bad breath?” If so, you may need more than just a mint, as persistent bad breath is one of several signs that gum disease may be present.
This question, along with many others, is part of Cigna Dental’s new online Periodontal Disease Risk Assessment Tool, which helps people assess their risk for gum (periodontal) disease. Bleeding gums or loose teeth can also be signs that gum disease is present – as it progresses, teeth may loosen due to loss of the supporting bone that holds them in place.
Available in English and Spanish, this new online quiz asks individuals a series of questions and then gives a score that forecasts that person’s risk for having gum disease. Results can be printed and then shared with their dentist at the next visit.
More than one in three people over age 30, or 35.7 million Americans, have periodontitis.1 This chronic bacterial infection affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. If gum disease progresses too far, an individual can potentially lose his or her teeth. On top of that, mounting research has linked gum disease to complications associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pre-term birth, and other health issues.
“During my years as a practicing dentist, I saw first-hand how poor oral hygiene can affect an individual,” said Dr. Michael Hahn, national dental director for Cigna Dental, who was key in the creation of the Periodontal Disease Risk Assessment Tool. “Cigna’s development of this new tool will help people better understand their risk for gum disease. It’s important for people to know that it is possible to have gum disease without having obvious warning signs, which is why regular dental check ups are so important.”
Cigna's Periodontal Disease Risk Assessment Tool is available online to people enrolled in Cigna Dental plans and also to the general public. It serves as a companion to Cigna Dental’s online Cavity Risk Assessment Tool that was released in May 2007.
About Cigna Dental: Cigna Dental covers approximately 10.9 million individuals, including employees of more than one-third of all Fortune 100 companies. People covered by Cigna Dental can choose their dentists from one of the largest dental HMO and dental PPO networks in the U.S.
1 The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP)