Catch Periodontal Disease Early At Regular Checkups
Good for you--you're on board with brushing and flossing at home. You eat a healthy diet and limit alcohol. You don't smoke. Your gum health should be great, but do you know that for sure? The way to ward off periodontal disease or to catch it early is through regular check-ups with your dentist in Lexington Park and Gaithersburg, MD, Dr. Ali Fatemi. This fellow in the American Academy of General Dentistry uses six-month check-ups and cleanings to keep your gums (as well as your teeth) as healthy as possible.
Did you know?
Did you know that gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss among American adults and that about 47 million adults over the of 30 have it in some form? The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta reports this disturbing information. It's particularly unsettling because from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, gum disease threatens oral health and even systemic health. So, it's important to prevent it with daily oral hygiene routines.
Symptoms of gum disease
Some individuals may not notice any symptoms of gum problems or may see just a little blood in the sink when they brush and floss. Others, however, experience symptoms which cannot be ignored, and your dentist in Lexington Park and Gaithersburg certainly will spot them on oral examination and through a simple procedure called periodontal probing
As part of your six-month examination at Fatemi Family Dentistry, Dr. Fatemi uses a small handheld probe to measure the spaces between your gum tissue and tooth surfaces. Called periodontal pockets, these spaces are normal when measuring one to three millimeters. Deeper measurements, however, are diagnostic for gum disease as are symptoms of:
- Bleeding, puffy, red gums
- Bad breath
- Pus at the gum line
- Loose, shifting teeth
- Exposed tooth roots
- Gum and bone deterioration
Hygienic cleanings remove the bacteria-filled plaque and tartar your brushing and flossing just cannot reach. Your hygienist scrapes away this build-up with ultrasonic and manual instruments, leaving tooth surfaces smooth and clean.
Treating gum disease
With mild gingivitis, gums recover nicely with regular cleanings and proper brushing and flossing. However, more serious periodontitis needs scaling and root planing, a procedure which goes below the gum line to remove hard tartar (calculus), smooth root surfaces and instill antibiotic medication as needed.
Other therapies include laser gum treatments, gum grafting (to cover exposed roots), and in the most advanced situations, bone grafting. Dr. Fatemi and his team carefully devise gum treatment plans tailored to individual patient needs so gums return to full health.
Learn more about your gums
You can spot periodontal disease before it damages your health. Call Fatemi Family Dentistry today to book your examination and cleaning. For the Lexington Park office, call (301) 737-4747, and for Gaithersburg, phone (301) 740-2686.