I believe in doing my best to help people prevent health problems.  As a young dentist in the 1980’s, my job was mostly “tooth carpentry,” that is, removing decay and restoring teeth using the best possible dental materials to help them function as well as possible.  While restorative dentistry is important and necessary, my main objective now is to help people prevent, or at least minimize, the problems in their mouth which impact the entire body.  At Oklahoma Dental Wellness, we take a whole body approach to dentistry.  Understanding the Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation (CPE) is the first step to understanding how dental care can help you LIVE YOUNGER by reducing chronic inflammation.  Remember, healthy gums don’t bleed.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gums and supporting bone structure.  The health or disease of the gums affects the entire body via the bacteria that circulate from the mouth through the body.  The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that all adults have a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation annually to treat this problem early – before big damage occurs.  The CPE can:

  • Guage gum health
  • Assess risk for disease
  • Diagnose existing disease
  • Determine treatment
  • Educate via intraoral pictures

The exam can be performed by a Registered Dental Hygienist or a Dentist.  If the gums are healthy, it is fairly painless.  If the tissue is inflamed, it can be uncomfortable and topical gel anesthesia can help.  A tiny dental instrument, called a “periodontal probe,” has 3 mm measurements on it and is used to measure the depth of the gum pockets on six areas of each tooth.  Any bleeding that occurs during this process will be recorded.   Healthy gums don’t bleed.  Unhealthy gums do bleed because they are fragile due to bacteria and the responding inflammation.

An annual CPE is absolutely “standard of care.”  This means that this procedure is part of the basic care that a person needs for evaluation of gum health.  You can’t usually look at the gums and tell if they are healthy.   The American Dental Association has estimated that approximately 80 percent of American adults have gum disease, including gingivitis which is the reversible form of the disease.   When diagnosed early, the treatment is nonsurgical, minimally invasive, and vastly less expensive.  

The ideal goal of the Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation is to diagnose gum disease in its earliest stages so that it can be treated conservatively.  Make sure you have a CPE annually.  It will save you money and health problems.  Remember, healthy gums don’t bleed. START SOMEWHERE today keeping your mouth clean and reducing the inflammatory load in your body.  You can do it.  I will help you.

Resources:

http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-31/issue-2/features/periodontal-standard-of-care.html

https://www.perio.org/

Healthy Gums Don't Bleed

Healthy Gums Don’t Bleed