Too many times in my dental practice I have had to give bad news to a new patient.  It actually makes me feel ill when somebody comes in with a beautiful set of teeth, no cavities or fillings, but says, “Help! My teeth are moving!”  This typically happens as a result of loss of the supporting bone that holds the teeth in place.  In the early stages, gum disease is one of those silent, non-painful diseases; that is, the signs and symptoms are easily ignored until there are big problems that cannot be ignored.  Early detection and early treatment are the keys to comfortable, simpler solutions that can help you stay on the healthy path to LIVING YOUNGER.  As Benjamin Franklin so famously said,  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it is never more true than when dealing with the mouth.  START SOMEWHERE with a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation for early intervention of inflammatory gum disease.

Simple, inexpensive, and virtually pain free, the Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation, also known as the CPE, is recommended annually as basic care for every adult dental patient.  The word “periodontal” comes from the Greek words “peri” which means “around” and “odous” which means tooth. It involves the gum tissue and supporting bone that holds the teeth in place. Bleeding gums, even during a routine teeth cleaning, is an early sign of the inflammation.

The health of these supporting structures is vital for the stability and protection of the teeth as well as having a major influence on the health of the entire body.  Because gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, it “inflames” other inflammatory diseases and makes them worse.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, periodontal disease can intensify Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Cardiovascular Disease, just to name a few.

This examination can be done by a Registered Dental Hygienist or a Dentist.  Although it may vary from dentist to dentist and office to office, here are the basics of a CPE:

  1. Assessment of gum color and texture.
  2. A measuring tool called a probe is gently “walked around” each tooth under the gums and six areas are measured and recorded.  The probe gives an objective reading of bone height.
  3. Gum bleeding and gum shrinkage/recession is also recorded.
  4. Measurements of 1 to 3 mm with no bleeding are considered healthy.  
  5. Areas with bleeding or pocket depths of 4 mm and deeper are diseased and treatment depends on the depth of the pocketing.   

Advanced gum disease can be avoided. It can cause bad breath, loose teeth requiring removal, and chronic inflammation that impacts all of your health and well-being, just to name a few.  START SOMEWHERE today to make sure that you are getting an annual Comprehensive Periodontal Exam in order to know the true state of your mouth.  The early and easily treatable stages of gum disease cannot be diagnosed by observation.  Healthy gums don’t bleed.  LIVE YOUNGER by dealing with chronic inflammation in all areas of your body.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Help! My teeth are moving!

Help! My teeth are moving!