Are You At Risk?

Anyone can get gum disease, but there are other things that play a role in raising your chances of getting it. These include:

  • Not taking care of your teeth and gums. This includes not brushing twice a day and flossing every day.
  • Using tobacco of any kind. You are more likely to have gum disease if you smoke, chew or dip tobacco.
  • Diseases that affect the whole body- such as HIV infection and diabetes- lower your body’s ability to fight infections, including gum disease.
  • Many Medications, such as steroids and blood pressure drugs, can affect your gums. Some have side effects that lower the amount of saliva your mouth makes. This can affect soft tissues like your gums and make cavities more likely.
  • Pregnancy, use of birth control pills, or changes in female hormone levels. These can cause gums to become more sensitive to plaque bacteria.
  • Family history. If your parents wear dentures or if you have a family history of tooth loss, be on the alert and pay close attention to changes in your gums.
  • The bacteria that causes gum disease may be passed from parents to children and between partners through saliva. This includes kissing or sharing toothbrushes and utensils.
Dental Care South

Comprehensive Periodontal Exams

Periodontal exams are vital in the maintenance of your oral health as they are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help your dentist diagnose gum diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding and other problems, making periodontal exams vital to maintaining proper oral health. Regular dental exams are important as they can reveal evidence of gum disease in its early stages.

During your periodontal examination, your dentist will check:

  • For any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth
  • Whether any of your teeth are missing or loose
  • The color, texture, size and shape of your gums
  • Whether you have fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures or implants
  • How much plaque is on your teeth
  • The depth of the space between your tooth and gum
  • Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease that causes inflammation of the gums. Dental x-rays can determine if the inflammation has spread to the supporting structures on the teeth so treatment can be started to correct the problem. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes untreated, which makes periodontal exams vital to preventing and putting an end to gum diseases.

Your dentist will complete a periodontal exam with each visit, emphasizing the importance of regular, routine visits to your dentist’s office.

How is gum disease treated?

Deep Cleaning- Scaling and Root Planing

Some cases of acute periodontal (gum) disease that do not respond to more conventional treatment and self-care such as flossing may require a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.

The procedure begins with administration of a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. Then, a small instrument called a “scaler,” or an ultrasonic cleaner, is used to clean beneath your gum line to remove plaque and tartar.

The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed. If effective, scaling and root planing helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.

Schedule Your Periodontal Exam At Your Local Tuscaloosa, Al Dentist

Now is the time to get started on taking care of yourself with great oral health. At Dental Care South in Tuscaloosa, Al we strive to not only provide our patients with the best dental care, but also the ability to maintain great oral health. Our dentists and staff look forward to hearing from you! So contact our Tuscaloosa dentists to learn if a periodontal exam is right for you or to make an appointment today!