Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is frighteningly common. Many people, however, may not experience any symptoms and so don't know they're living with the first stages of gum disease. Left untreated, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss. That's why we offer our thorough periodontal exams. By keeping an eye on our patients' oral health with exams and x-rays, we can diagnose periodontal disease earlier and begin treatment.
What is a Periodontal Exam?
Periodontal exams are an important component of your dental visits and vital to maintaining your oral health. During these exams, Dr. Feldman assesses the health of your gums, underlying jawbone, and teeth. We can then diagnose certain conditions like gingivitis, and keep an eye on issues like receding gums, exposed tooth roots, teeth grinding, and others.
The goal of every periodontal exam is to catch these and other potential concerns in their earliest stages. Periodontal disease is a condition that can lead to infection and eventually, tooth loss. Some studies have estimated that roughly 75% of adults have some form of periodontal disease, whether it be a mild gum inflammation or something more serious. If periodontal disease is detected early, we can use simpler and more conservative treatments.
What to Expect during your Periodontal Exam
During a typical periodontal exam, Dr. Feldman will conduct a thorough inspection of your mouth. We'll check for any lumps or abnormal areas and take note of the color, texture, size, and shape of your gums. We'll note the condition of any restorations you have, such as fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants, as well as if any of your natural teeth are missing or loose.
When considering the health of your teeth and gums, we will also check on the amount of plaque present and the depth of space between your teeth and gums. All of this can be done safely and comfortably during your next appointment. We will likely need to take x-rays to get a better understanding of the health of your jawbone as well.
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, which begins with mild gum inflammation, but left untreated can cause serious harm. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Symptoms include red, swollen, painful gums or gums that bleed easily, but just as often periodontal disease has no noticeable symptoms. Dr. Feldman or one of our hygienists may be the first to notice signs of periodontal disease during your routine checkup. Generally, periodontal disease begins when bacteria found in plaque that has been allowed to develop causes an infection in surrounding tissues. Eventually, this infection can spread to the underlying jawbone and cause it to recede, resulting in loose teeth. It's important to seek treatment at the first sign of periodontal disease so we can rehabilitate your smile.
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If you notice the first signs of gum disease, or if you haven't been in for a checkup recently, call us today at (907) 802-4519 to schedule your next periodontal exam.