Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Our Peirodontal Maintenance Program was developed specifically to aid all our patients in achieving and maintaining long-term periodontal health. We customize our treatment options for each patient's needs and desires, while utilizing the latest techniques and therapies and working in conjunction with the most skilled and competent local periodontists (gum specialists).

Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious infection of the gums and other tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Millions of Americans have periodontal disease. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth and bone loss. The welcome news is that periodontal treatment can make your mouth healthier and help you keep your teeth. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, consequences of this disease may a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. This plaque causes your gums to become swollen and tender. The plaque builds up on the teeth, causing the gums to become red and sensitive.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Red & puffy gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushed or flossed
  • Mouth odor (bad breath)
  • Loosening of one or more teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Increasing gaps between from teeth
  • Gum discomfort

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

1. We will first review your complete medical and dental history with you.
2. We will discuss with you any medications or existing conditions that apply to you that might affect your periodontal health.
3. To accurately evaluate your gums' health, we will then perform a painless technique called periodontal probing.

A periodontal probe is a small measuring instrument, and is placed in between your teeth and gums to determine the depth in millimeters of the periodontal pocket. A periodontal pocket of up to 3mm is considered healthy. Beyond 3mm may be a sign of gum disease.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease.  Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.

Periodontitis

Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar).  As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth.  Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus.  The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily.  Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.

Advanced Periodontitis

The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed.  Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost.  Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.