Mann Family Dental
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Why and How We Check for Signs of Periodontal Disease

June 12, 2014
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann

At Mann Family Dental we make sure to check every patient for signs of periodontal disease at every cleaning. Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. The inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets collect food particles and become infected. If not adequately treated, the tissue around the teeth is destroyed which causes tooth loss.

Preceding periodontal disease is gingivitis, also known as gum inflammation. The good news is that gingivitis does not always lead to periodontal disease, and it can be reversed with the proper care. There are many outward signs of gum disease which we check for at every appointment including:

  • Foul smelling breath
  • Red, inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Sensitive teeth that feel loose when touched
  • Gum recession
  • Pockets between the teeth and gums

Periodontal Disease

The first four signs on that list are easily detected. It’s the pockets between the teeth and gums that takes more of a process for the hygienist. Using a special probe, the hygienist will measure the depth between your teeth and gums. This is measured in millimeters, and anything higher than 3 millimeters can indicate periodontal disease. You may notice the hygienist entering each pocket depth into the computer as they go to keep a record.

If your dentist determines that you have periodontal disease, he or she may refer you to a specialist for treatment. If you have gum disease or any signs that could lead up to periodontal disease, they may recommend more frequent and deeper cleanings, as well as better at home care of your mouth to prevent any further damage

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