Gum Disease Screening
San Carlos, CA
Gum disease is a far-reaching disorder, affecting over 50 percent of all adult Americans. However, just because gum disease is common does not mean that it is not a serious disease that can have lasting repercussions. As one of the leading causes of tooth loss, 70 percent of all lost teeth is due to gum disease. Catching gum disease early is vital not only to prevent the loss of your tooth, but also serious systemic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and even death. We here at Frank Hsu, D.D.S. can help you detect your gum disease early so you can start treatment for it and avoid any of these dangerous complications.
Why is Gum Disease Screening So Important?
The same bacteria that can cause tooth decay are also the ones responsible for causing gum disease. When the bacteria in your mouth grow and reproduce, a sticky, filmy layer of scum may develop on your teeth. This residue is called “plaque” and, if you do not remove it often, can cause infection. The bacteria release both toxins and acids that can attack your gums, leading to gum disease.
Early-stage gum disease is called “gingivitis” and, if caught at this stage, can be cured. Treatment for gingivitis is fairly straightforward and is as simple as starting a good oral hygiene regimen. Signs of gingivitis include bad breath (halitosis), blood in your saliva after you brush and floss, red and swollen gums, and the recession of your gumline. Gingivitis is often painless, which makes early detection all the more vital. To reverse your gingivitis, you need to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothbrush, and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. After you brush, you need to floss at least once a day. Use an 18-inch segment of floss and make sure you maneuver it between your teeth and up under your gum line to remove all trapped food and plaque. Make sure you use a fresh segment of floss per tooth to avoid spreading bacteria.
Advanced stage gum disease, also known as “periodontitis,” is diagnosed by the presence of deep pockets between your gums and your teeth. The deeper the pockets, the more advanced your periodontal disease is. There are two primary types of periodontitis: chronic and aggressive. Chronic periodontitis occurs through poor oral health, but aggressive periodontitis can occur even if you take good care of your teeth. Regular appointments can help check for and prevent, problems resulting from periodontitis.
If you have periodontitis, then you will not be able to cure it. Like all chronic diseases, it will need treatment to manage it. We will start your treatment with a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and a root planing. This removes all calculus (hardened plaque) from your teeth and smooths down your tooth roots. That makes it harder for the calculus to return, plus it creates a surface that your gums can reattach to, reducing the depth of your gum pockets.
Most cases of gum disease go untreated. Despite the dramatic negative health risks that are linked to gum disease, people who have it often go undiagnosed. Fortunately, we here at Frank Hsu, D.D.S. have made Laser Gum Disease Therapy available to our clients! Laser Therapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that works using laser light to kill bacteria in the pockets of the gums leaving only healthy tissue intact.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Minimized downtime following the procedure is a great benefit that allows the patient to return to their normal schedule immediately. Saving teeth and gums and allowing bone regeneration to occur are huge benefits of this procedure. Our goal is always your safety and health. Tooth and bone loss due to gum disease are real risk factors for anyone who has gum disease so we take it very seriously.
Normally, we advise that our patients schedule appointments every six months for prophylactic cleanings, but if you have periodontal disease, we will need you to come in more frequently. Periodontal management requires appointments at a three or four-month interval, depending on the severity of your gum disease. This can help keep the symptoms of your periodontal disease minimized and help prevent potentially lethal complications such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, and even death.
If you would like to learn more about gum disease screening or to schedule your appointment for a checkup and a cleaning, please give us here at Frank Hsu, D.D.S. a call today at 650.262.1940!