Periodontal Exam
Performed at Every Visit with Our Hygienist

Houston Dental Solutions is not only concerned about the health of your teeth, but also the health of your gums.  Included in the initial comprehensive examination, along with a full set of x-rays, is an evaluation of all oral tissue.
 
We perform a full oral cancer screening and periodontal probing.  This evaluation checks for any areas of recession, inflammation, and total amount of connective tissue loss.  In addition, we also examine bone levels with a full set of x-rays.  This is to help rule out any possibility of gum disease from slight gingivitis to severe periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that cannot only cause a person to lose their teeth, it can lead to affecting one's overall health.  If this evaluation is not performed in the early to moderate stages of the disease, it can go undetected and silently cause extensive damage to all supporting tissues.

 

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Periodontal Disease: Signs, Symptoms and Stages


Symptoms of gum problems that range from Gingivitis to Advanced Periodontal Disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Soreness / pain in the gums
  • Pus and redness in the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums



Gingivitis
A mild inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up.  Gums may be red and/or sore, and bleed upon probing. An anti-microbial mouth rinse may be prescribed.

Periodontitis
If left untreated, the gum infection damages the bone and surrounding tissues. Your gum separates from the tooth and the bone level deteriorates.
Advanced Periodontitis
Your gums recede further and separate. Pus may develop, bone loss continues, and your teeth may loosen or fall out.

Treatment

The good news about periodontal disease is that it can be treated and, in most cases can be stabilized with an in-office, non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planing, also known as "periodontal therapy". 

This procedure involves cleaning the root surfaces with an ultrasonic instrument to remove any debris or tartar accumulation that may be keeping the gums irritated and infected, and also irrigating and flushing out the tissue to induce healing. This is done under a local anesthetic for your complete comfort.
 
Periodontal therapy requires a minimum of two appointments.  The follow-up appointment is to reevaluate the gums and polish the teeth about four weeks after treatment is completed.

Generally each appointment lasts about 1 1/2 hours. The success rate for this treatment is very high. After scaling and root planing you should only require a regular cleaning schedule to keep the disease stable, along with good homecare.

Some types of periodontal disease are quite severe and can end up requiring a referral to a Periodontist* for gum surgery.  This is what we rule out with the periodontal evaluation.

*A Periodontist is a dentist specializing in diseases of the gum and other structures that surround the teeth.