We can’t talk about keeping teeth for a lifetime without talking about healthy gums!
Your teeth are held snugly in the bone that is surrounded by your gums (gingiva). When healthy, they are pink and firm. When diseased, they are red, swollen, bleeding and in the case of advance gum disease, loose!
Your hygienist and dentist examines your gums at each continuing care visit by measuring your gum pockets with a periodontal probe. These pockets normally surround your teeth and should measure 1-3mm deep with no tenderness, bleeding or swelling.
If we do find areas of bleeding and the pocket depths are shallow as described above, then you may have gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. It is important to floss, Waterpik, and brush your teeth (electric toothbrushes are great!) to thoroughly to remove plaque, the cause of gum disease and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is reversible with through homecare.
If the pockets are deeper that 3mm: that is a sign of periodontal disease that affects not only the gums but the bone that holds the teeth. Advanced stages of periodontal disease may include deep pockets, tartar under the gums, bleeding, pus, and loose teeth. Treatment may include: more frequent dental visits, deep scaling (cleaning), prescribed rinses and antibiotics such as Arestin that are placed under the gums.
Of course what you do at home makes a significant impact on the health of your mouth. Don’t forget to get your floss all the way down to the base of the gum pockets and scrape each side of the tooth a few times. Plaque is the cause of gum disease and our goal is to remove as much as we can on a daily basis.
We want to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. If you have any questions, we are here for you!
– Your friends at PDC