There might be part of your regular dental check-ups that you didn’t even know about – the periodontal exam. If you’ve ever overheard your dentist or hygienist charting the findings in this exam, it sounded like a list of numbers like 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, etc. Have you ever asked to find out what they mean, or why it’s such an important part of your routine dental care?
The periodontal exam is the part of your check-up that assesses whether or not you have periodontal disease (gum disease.) A small, smooth-tipped probe is placed under the gumlines to see how deep the “pocket” is around 6 different surfaces of each tooth. The bottom of the pocket indicates where the gum levels are attached, as well as whether or not there is associated bone loss in deep areas.
A healthy, disease-free pocket is any area that is 3mm or shallower. Periodontal pockets that are deeper than 3mm indicate that infection has caused the tissue to detach from the tooth. If moderate to severe pocketing is present, it’s impossible to keep your teeth free of disease with simple brushing and flossing. It also means that there is less security when it comes to keeping your teeth in place. Teeth then become mobile due to structural loss, and can even fall out.
Thankfully, routine periodontal exams can help identify areas of concern when they are as small as possible. This provides patients and their dentist with an opportunity to re-vamp oral hygiene skills and treat the area as needed. It is possible to achieve re-attachment of gum tissue, but it isn’t possible to get bone to grow back on its own. If you’ve never heard your hygienist call out these numbers, it’s time to ask about having a periodontal exam at your next check-up!
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
You know how important good oral hygiene and regular appointments are to the health and integrity of your teeth, but did you know your oral health can have a major bearing on that of the rest of your body? Emerging research indicates that your oral health, or lack thereof, can readily contribute to the overall condition of your body as a whole. Patients with diabetes, heart disease and a host of other chronic problems are now being referred to dental and gum specialists, as the link between periodontal disease and chronic health complaints becomes more apparent.
In fact, the condition of your mouth and oral tissues can offer important clues about undiscovered health problems, and is even believed to be a primary cause of many underlying conditions.
Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Health
There are some health conditions which may cause severe effects, and their point of origin may be traced back to your mouth. The condition of your mouth may also indicate future problems, which can affect the level of preventative treatment and monitoring you receive.
Patients who have lost a tooth before the age of thirty-five without being subjected to traumatic injury, for instance, may have higher risk factor for contracting Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Patients with diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes, have been shows to have a higher frequency of gum disease in controlled studies. Oral bacteria may also be linked to heart disease, elevated stroke risk, clogged arteries and endocarditis.
To ensure your overall health and safeguard your wellbeing, it’s essential to take a whole-body approach. Make and keep regular appointments with your dentist to monitor or control developing problems, and you may be reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke or other serious conditions.
Posted on behalf of Group Health Dental
There’s a new kind of periodontal disease treatment that takes a different approach to other prescription gum disease medications. It’s called Perio Protect, and while it uses prescription medication to help destroy gum disease causing bacteria from your mouth, it’s delivered using a different method that makes it more successful than rinses or topical pastes.
Perio Protect works by using a custom tray that holds the medication directly inside of the diseased pocket for an extended period of time. Unlike other medications that are rinsed away, or flushed out by the body’s natural cleansing mechanisms, the Perio Protect tray keeps the medicine along the desired areas the entire time that the tray is being worn. This increases the medication’s ability to destroy bacteria so that your tissue can heal. Once the bacteria are killed, healing can take place quicker.
The trays are worn twice a day after your oral hygiene routine. Results will be visible sooner than in patients that do not use Perio Protect trays, and in some cases the treatment can be used instead of other types of clinical treatments. Typically it is used in conjunction with therapeutical cleanings. After your hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum pockets, Perio Protect can easily target the areas that need it the most.
Symptoms of gum disease include bone loss, bleeding, swelling, loose teeth, bad breathe, and discomfort during brushing or flossing. If you’ve always struggled to get control over your gum disease, and other methods just don’t seem to work, ask your dentist about Perio Protect. It may be just what you need to help keep your teeth healthy for years to come.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
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