Certain signs and symptoms are indicative of periodontal disease. One of the early signs of the onset of this disease is bleeding gums. Healthy gums should never bleed. . . not even when you brush and floss vigorously. If you notice bleeding of the gums, see your dentist right away for an exam and evaluation.
At the dentist office, your medical and dental history will first be reviewed. Then, a number of tests may be performed to determine whether you have periodontal disease.
During the physical examination of the oral cavity, the gums are closely inspected on the cheek and tongue side of every tooth. The color and shape of the gingival tissue are compared to the ideal qualities of healthy gingival tissue. If probing of gum tissue reveals puffiness, redness, and bleeding, inflammation is present. If the gums between the teeth are blunt rather than pointed, there’s a likelihood that acute periodontal disease has resulted in necrosis (death) of gum tissue.
To further evaluate the presence and progression of periodontal disease, Periodontal Screening and Recording (PSR) is performed to determine how far the disease has advanced. During PSR, a periodontal probe and mirror are used to measure pocket depth of gum tissue around each tooth. This measurement helps to reveal the condition of the connective tissue and the amount of gingival recession.
Tooth mobility is also checked by your dentist during the diagnostic testing for gum disease. Each tooth is pushed between two instrument handles and observed for any movement. Mobility of teeth indicates at least some degree of bone loss.
At some point during the examination, a series of x-rays that capture the full mouth are taken to better evaluate any loss of supporting bone structure.
Once periodontal disease has been diagnosed, proper treatment will be recommended. Our doctor and hygienist will move forward with the proper treatment of your disease. On rare occasion, your case may be too severe that we will have to refer you to a periodontist.