According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of Americans ages 30 and older have some stage of gum disease. 

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious gum infection that, if left untreated, can damage your jawbone and lead to other health concerns. There are several warning signs. Be sure to see your dentist if you have the following:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food
  • Loose or separating teeth

The link between gum disease and heart disease

According to research, the chronic inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to inflammation in other parts of your body, including your heart valves and blood vessels. While gum disease is not the only cause, there is a strong link between gum disease and increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular events. Taking care of your teeth and gums can help reduce your changes of these serious health issues — especially as you age.

Preventing & treating gum disease

Gum disease can be prevented with regular flossing and brushing habits, but if you have any of the above symptoms, don’t wait to see your dentist. If caught early, gum disease is easier to treat.

Dental health is an important part of your overall health and wellness. Be sure to take full advantage of your dental benefits offered by the Trust.


Dental coverage is provided to PPO and Kaiser Permanente Plan participants through Delta Dental of Washington. Coverage details and provider networks vary depending on your plan.

You can find the details of your dental coverage in your Summary Plan Description booklet. Booklets are located on this page in the green right-hand sidebar.

To determine whether you are covered under the “Sound” or “SoundPlus” plan, look at the front of your Sound Health & Wellness Trust ID card. It is printed on the far left-hand side under the Trust logo.