Recognizing how systemic health effects dental health, Steven M. Miller, DDS incorporates wellness exams into our routine checkups which include teeth cleaning. Oral cancer exams and complimentary blood pressure checks are included in every oral exam.
Basic Teeth Cleaning (Prophy)
During your professional dental cleaning, the hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar on your teeth above the gum line. Your teeth will also be polished and you may choose to receive a fluoride treatment.
Skipping your routine cleanings can cause plaque buildup, which can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. Plaque and bacteria that form in the mouth can lead to pain and/or tooth loss. It is now well known that many health conditions can be adversely affected by poor oral hygiene.
Digital Periodontal Charting
A periodontal charting is an exam that gives us very valuable information. We will determine if there is any bone loss and evaluate the condition of your gums. In general, we are measuring the space between the top of your gum and where the gum attaches to your tooth.
The space between the top of the gum and where it attaches to the tooth and bone is called a pocket. Areas that are deeper than 3mm can be an indication of bone loss. This could be an early sign of periodontal disease. We can treat you for periodontal disease if your pockets are not deeper than 6mm. Pockets that are less than 3mm are normal if they do not bleed.
Periodontal Disease Treatment and Management
There are several known reasons that can predispose you to periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is widely known. The most common ones are: smoking, diabetes, a genetic predisposition from one or both of your parents, and poor oral hygiene.
The goal of our treatment is to remove the “Biofilm” (an sticky accumulation of bacteria) that is attached to the sides of your roots under the gum line. Tartar is an accumulation of hardened biofilm that is very hard to remove.
When left untreated, studies have shown that severe periodontal disease is associated with adverse health conditions such as stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and even complications associated with fertility.
After active periodontal therapy, you will need periodontal maintenance. Like other chronic diseases such as diabetes, you will need to be monitored. It takes effort on your part and ours to maintain your oral health successfully. We will repeat your periodontal charting periodically, usually once a year after active therapy.
If you had moderate periodontal disease and are under good control, 3 maintenance visits per year will usually suffice to keep you on the right track. Severe periodontal disease needs to be maintained with 3-4 periodontal maintenance visits per year. The periodontist will determine the frequency of visits. If you are a diabetic with periodontal disease, you will normally be seen 3-4 times per year due to your increased risk of infection.