If you want to keep your teeth for life, which is a completely reasonable goal in any time and age, you need to make sure the gum tissues that surround your teeth are also healthy. Should gum problems arise, you may need periodontal therapy to treat diseased tissues.
Periodontal exams are vital in the maintaining good oral health as they are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help your dentist diagnose gum diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding and any other problems, which are otherwise missed. Regular dental exams are important as they can reveal evidence of gum disease in its early stages.
During your periodontal examination, your dentist will check for:
- Any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth
- Any missing or loose teeth
- The color, texture, size and shape of your gums
- Any fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures or implants
- Amount of plaque build-up in your moth
- The depth of the space between your tooth and gum
- Any signs of gingivitis – inflammation of the gum
Dental x-rays are taken to determine if the inflammation has spread to the supporting structures on the teeth so treatment can be started to correct the problem. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes untreated, which makes periodontal exams vital to preventing and putting an end to gum diseases.
Your dentist will complete a periodontal exam with each visit, emphasizing the importance of regular, routine visits to your dentist’s office.