How we diagnose periodontal disease and decay

Oral ExamBecause we’re committed to preventive dentistry, we recommend that all of our patients see us at least every six months for a routine cleaning and examination. Dental problems start out small but can quickly worsen to become much more serious conditions. These problems are much easier to treat when we catch them early.

Serious conditions begin as treatable problems

The effects of gingivitis, for example, are reversible. But when gingivitis advances to periodontal disease, the bone loss that can result is irreversible.

A small cavity on the surface of a tooth can easily be fixed, but if it spreads to the inner layers of the tooth, we’ll usually need to perform root canal therapy and restore the tooth with a crown.

If you have a cracked filling, an infection in the tooth’s inner pulp layer can result, requiring root canal therapy.

A bad bite can contribute to problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and can cause the painful cycle of muscle spasms and other jaw-joint problems commonly known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. The list of potentially fast-growing problems goes on.

Regular checkups allow us to treat problems early

During your regular checkups, we examine the health of your mouth, measure the bone levels around your teeth, check for decay, screen for oral cancer, examine your restorations, evaluate your bite, and remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in plaque and tartar, producing toxins that can cause bone loss and eventually tooth loss. A toothbrush and floss won’t even budge tartar, so we must remove it every six months in our office.

Your six-month exam and cleaning is a critical part of a preventive program. It’s the best way for you to prevent advanced dental problems, and that minimizes the time and money you spend in the dental chair.