The oral hygiene and health of your gums are just as important as the tooth it surrounds. Without healthy gums, teeth may become loose, the spacing between the teeth may appear, and you might suffer from tenderness or discomfort from red and puffy gums. At Singing River Dentistry, our dentists are expertly trained in examining your mouth for tooth and gum health.
Why is Periodontal Care Important?
Periodontal means "around the teeth" and focuses on the health of your gums and bones. Periodontal care is a preventative measure for your gums in conjunction with the health of the teeth they support. Our dentists specialize in diagnosing and treating gums before they are subject to disease. A periodontal examination is always done during your routine oral exam.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Plaque is a sticky film on your teeth that forms from leftover debris, bacteria, and saliva. If not brushed away, it can turn into tartar, a crusty deposit causing discoloration of the tooth in as little as 24 hours. If the tartar hardens after plaque builds up, it can lead to periodontal disease, an infection of the gums and bones that hold the tooth in place.
What are Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Some signs that your gums are not in their healthiest state include discomfort or tenderness. If your gums are red and puffy, you feel that your teeth are loose, or notice pus that appears around the teeth and gums, you should contact our dentists. The most common of these symptoms, however, is bleeding gums. Your gums should not bleed during regular brushing or flossing. Discomfort in your teeth and gums could be a sign of a much bigger problem that needs to be treated.
What are Common Diagnosis During a Periodontal Exam?
Our dentists want to catch any signs of periodontal disease early on. The best way to do this is to perform a periodontal exam during every oral exam. It usually takes no more than 5 minutes. In the exam, our dentists are looking for Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Advanced Periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. If caught early on, one or two professional cleanings will take care of the problem and restore your gums to health.
Periodontitis, however, is the next stage of the disease. Your gums will begin to recede from the teeth because of tartar and plaque build-up. Pockets begin to form between the teeth and the gums and create a place where bacteria can be collected. These bacteria begin to infect the area, leaving your gums inflamed and will make them bleed easily. For our dentists to treat Periodontitis, a special cleaning called scaling and root planing will restore your teeth and gums.
The final diagnosis is advanced periodontitis. This is when periodontitis was not caught early on and the pockets between the teeth and the receding gums grow deeper, allowing even more bacteria to settle. Periodontal surgery may be necessary to reduce the size of these pockets.
If you are suffering from bleeding gums or have general discomfort in your teeth, contact our dentists at Singing River Dentistry. Call (256) 562-4001 today to schedule your next periodontal exam.
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