Studies show that the vast majority of Americans suffer some degree of gum disease at some point in their lives. While your original permanent teeth can last a lifetime with good oral hygiene, proper lifestyle habits, and regular professional cleanings and oral exams, a big component of maintaining healthy teeth and gums involving detecting problems in their early stages and addressing them as soon as possible.
The American Association of Periodontology (AAP) recommends annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) to check the health of your gums and identify problems like gum disease that may need additional intervention besides professional teeth cleaning.
Why are Periodontal Exams Necessary?
A typical CPE involves checking the condition of your teeth, gums, plaque, bite, bone structure, and risk factors. Many people do not realize that periodontal disease can affect other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. So it's recommended that you treat any inflammation that may cause gum disease as early as soon as possible to ensure your optimal health.Read Danielle N.'s review of Stonebrook Dental on Yelp
During your periodontal exam, the dentist will check:
- The color, size, shape, and texture of your gums
- For lumps, pockets that may trap bacteria, and abnormalities in your mouth
- For loose or missing teeth
- For the extent of plaque and tartar on your teeth
- The depth of space between your gum and teeth
- The condition of existing restorations, including fillings, crowns, implants, bridges, and dentures
The dentist will also check for the early signs of gum disease (known as gingivitis), such as swollen gums and redness. If gingivitis is not treated in time, it may develop into a more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis, which may result in loose teeth, bad breath, and even tooth loss. Dental X-rays may be necessary to help determine whether the inflammation has spread to supporting structures.
Please visit the dentist for your annual periodontal exam, and for tips to ensure the health of your gums and teeth.