The health of your gums is an integral part of your oral health. At Laser Dental Bakersfield, we take gum health seriously. As a regular part of our dental checkups, our hygienists and dentists will look closely at your gums, look for signs of gum disease, and help you understand the necessary steps to take.
What is Periodontal Care?
Periodontal refers to the areas surrounding your teeth; in other words, your gums and jawbones. During your checkup, our dentists will check the health of these areas to ensure that they are in good health. We specifically look for plaque and tartar build up that worked its way from the surface of your teeth to the gum and bones.
Catching Gum Disease Early
It's our goal to catch gum disease in its earliest stages, called gingivitis. Many patients do not have symptoms right away. Some patients do not even have obvious symptoms in the later stages of the disease. If you watch carefully, though, you may seem some of the following:
Later Signs of Gum Disease
If you do not keep up with your regular dental appointments and/or your dental hygiene, gum disease can progress into periodontal disease. At this point, we may see signs of:
If this occurs, we may refer you to a periodontist that can manage advanced gum disease.
The Periodontal Exam
Our periodontal exam is simple and painless. Using a probe, we first measure the pockets between your gum line and teeth. Pockets that measure 3 millimeters or less are healthy. Pockets measuring more than 3 millimeters are a sign of impending gum disease.
During the periodontal exam, we will ask questions about swollen, painful, and bleeding gums. Our hygienist will also pay close attention to your gums when flossing your teeth to see if there is excessive bleeding.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
If we can catch your periodontal disease early enough, we can recommend non-invasive ways to fight the impending issue. With regular dental cleanings (sometimes more often than every six months) and proper oral hygiene at home, you may be able to avoid advanced gum disease.
If we find that the pockets are much larger than 3 mm, though, we recommend a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the bacteria, plaque, and tartar are removed not only from the teeth and gumline but beneath the gumline too. The teeth’s roots are also cleaned or smoothed to restore the gums to a healthy condition.
If the disease progresses beyond what scaling and root planing can do, we may recommend a referral to a periodontist. Untreated gum disease puts you at risk for shifting teeth, tooth loss, and even diabetes and heart disease.
Your gum health is important, make sure to keep up with your regular dental checkups and periodontal care at our office so that we can help you keep your gums healthy. Call Laser Dental Bakersfield at (661) 241-9144 today to schedule your check-up and periodontal care appointment.