Dec 02, 2021

What Should a Periodontal Examination Include?

The purpose of a periodontal examination is to determine if the patient has gum disease, which could lead to tooth loss. The doctor will do a full periodontal examination to check the gums, teeth, and jawbone for any signs of gum disease. They will also assess how well your teeth are aligned with one another by looking down at them from different angles. And, the health of your jawbone will also be examined by looking at it from various angles. This includes identifying changes in bone structure, shape, or thickness that might be related to poor oral health or gum disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a common yet largely preventable condition that affects some 30% of the population. It can be caused by bacterial and fungal infections or autoimmune reactions. Periodontitis is a form of gum disease which causes inflammation and infection of your gums and connective tissue, mainly due to inflamed pits and pockets in the gums. Periodontitis usually leads to tooth loss or difficulty in chewing or swallowing food.

What is a Periodontal Examination?

The term comprehensive periodontal examination means the process of evaluating the health of the gingiva and other soft tissue structures that surround your teeth. A healthy mouth is vital because it helps avoid gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems. A periodontal examination aims to detect or prevent signs of gum disease. The first step includes isolating them from surrounding tissue using gentle suction cups. Next, you will be asked to turn your head towards the left while your dentist examines your teeth and the gum around them with a mirror, looking for signs of inflammation or bleeding – one sign of gum disease is plaque buildup. If they do find something, you will be asked to open wide so they can examine your mouth further and remove any infection-causing bacteria without harming healthy tissue. They might also recommend some additional treatment such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication.

Who Should Be Screened?

Periodontal screening is recommended for anyone at increased risk for periodontal diseases. People who have had gum disease before or other dental problems should also get screened. However, it is important to visit a dentist’s office near you for a consultation on your periodontal disease risk level.

What Do Periodontal Exams and Diagnosis Includes?

Periodontal exams are not painful, but they might produce some temporary discomfort due to the instrument used for examination, such as a dental explorer. They check for tooth mobility before confirming the diagnosis with x-rays or other methods like blood tests, saliva tests, etc. Additional periodontal tests to diagnose periodontitis include:
  • Periodontal Pocketing
Dental periodontitis results from an interaction between local factors such as bacterial plaque and your immune responsiveness to periodontal organisms. Periodontists generally measure periodontal pocket depth by inserting a periodontal probe into periodontal pockets and noting how far the periodontal pocket extends around the root. Periodontal pockets are classified according to their depth, but the dentist generally records periodontal pocketing by classifying them as shallow (3 to 4.4 mm), moderate (4.5 to 5.5 mm), or deep (greater than 5.6 mm). When periodontal pockets reach a depth of 8 to 10 mm, periodontal surgery may be necessary to eliminate periodontal pocketing and reduce regenerative periodontitis around the root surface.
  • Smoking Status Test
This test is used by periodontists to determine whether a patient smokes or not. If you have been smoking regularly, the medical team will advise you to quit before beginning periodontal treatment. This is because continuous exposure to nicotine and other toxins weakens your periodontal tissues, making periodontitis more likely. Smoking can also make healing more difficult because it often causes the blood vessels to constrict, which impedes blood flow throughout your body. Blood carries necessary nutrients and oxygen not only to your gums but to all cells in your body – including those involved with periodontal healing.

Benefits of Periodontal Screening?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a chronic, progressive disease caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar from food particles on teeth. Periodontal disease can lead to pain and infection as well as tooth loss. Without a periodontal examination, it’s impossible to know if you have periodontal disease. By getting a free periodontal screening at your local dental office near you, you can learn about your risk for gum diseases so you can take steps to prevent them. Periodontal screening examinations are conducted to detect the disease in its earliest stages before it advances. Examination for periodontal disease is typically performed at 6-month intervals to determine whether or not periodontal pocketing has increased or if periodontal therapy is needed

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Visit Family Dental Care for more information about periodontal screening.

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