Periodontal screenings are performed on all our adult patients on a periodic basis. When screening for periodontal disease, the hygienist takes radiographs, performs a thorough dental exam, and may ask you questions about your health and family history.
During the exam, he or she will measure and record several key variables that may indicate the presence of periodontal disease, or help to determine the severity of the disease. We will record the color, shape, and consistency of the gum tissue. We will note whether or not the gum tissue bleeds to the touch, which healthy gums do not do. We will record and measure recession of the gum tissue away from teeth, and record whether any of the teeth are wiggly or loose.
The key indicator of periodontal disease is determined from the measuring of “pockets” that exist in the gums around every tooth. These pockets exist in healthy patients as well, but become elongated in the presence of gum disease when the gum tissue is being destroyed by bacteria.
If gum disease is detected, we will determine its severity and discuss measures to halt the progression of the disease and repair the destruction that has occurred. When detected early, most forms of periodontal disease require simple, non-surgical therapies to achieve good results. More severe periodontal disease may involve surgical approaches.