Periodontal Exams

Periodontal exams are vital in the maintenance of your oral health. They are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help your dentist diagnose gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding, and other problems. Regular dental exams are essential as they can reveal evidence of gum disease in its early stages. This is because periodontal disease is reversible in the first stage, gingivitis, but not in the later stage, periodontitis.

During Your Periodontal Examination, Your Dentist Will Check:

  • For any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth
  • Whether any of your teeth are missing or loose
  • The color, texture, size, and shape of your gums
  • Whether you have fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants
  • How much plaque is on your teeth
  • The depth of the space between your tooth and gum

Rider Family Dentistry Dentist in Cherokee, IAxray

Stages of Periodontal Disease

There are two main types of periodontal disease. The first stage is gingivitis. This causes inflammation of the gums. Dental x-rays can determine if the inflammation has spread to the supporting structures on the teeth so treatment can be started to correct the problem. Gingivitis can be reversed. During the first stage, you may notice bleeding gums when brushing your teeth due to the inflammation. 

The second stage, periodontitis, cannot be reversed. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes untreated. During periodontitis, patients may have a slight bone loss to loose teeth. This makes periodontal exams vital to preventing and putting an end to gum diseases. Dr. Rider will complete a periodontal exam with each visit, emphasizing the importance of regular, routine visits to your dentist’s office.

Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Your gums will feel different during the stages of periodontal disease. At first, symptoms may be mild. Do not ignore these symptoms. This is the time that gum disease can be reversed. Beginning symptoms include pain in the gums and bleeding while brushing. As periodontal disease progresses, the gums recede from the tooth, causing the appearance of longer teeth. You may even notice gaps between teeth or the gums and teeth. Your gums may also become infected. This could create an abscess or swelling around the tooth and gums. Eventually, you may have pain doing everyday tasks such as biting down and eating. 

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease

There are a few ways that you can prevent periodontal disease. The primary method is good oral hygiene. Brush, floss, and rinse your mouth with mouthwash twice a day. Cleaning your gums and teeth removes bacteria that can turn into plaque or tartar. Bacteria is the culprit of periodontal disease. It slowly begins eating away at the gums, bone, and tooth, causing the tooth to separate from the gums. It forms pockets between the teeth and the gums where more bacteria can fester. Another way to prevent periodontal disease is through regular dental cleanings and exams. Dr. Rider and her team recommend patients visit Rider Family Dentistry every six months for a dental cleaning and exam. During this exam, Dr. Rider and her staff will perform a periodontal exam. To book your next periodontal exam, call our office today. 

Periodontal disease is a serious condition in the dental field. It is crucial to have your mouth examined every six months to prevent infection and protect the health of your teeth. Infection in your teeth can migrate around the body, causing heart disease and other severe conditions. To keep your teeth healthy at home, brush, floss, and use mouthwash two times daily. For more information about periodontal disease and to schedule an appointment, call our office today.