The relationship between your bones, gums, and teeth is collaboration at its best. When all three work in harmony, life is good. Any challenge can be confronted and mastered, if you have your health. But when this harmony is disturbed, the structure of your lifestyle is undermined.
As you age, your gums and teeth will reflect both what happens to you, and how you react. Those who understand oral health will start with understanding the gums. Because without strong gums, healthy teeth will be the victims of instability.
Patients often wonder why we poke around so much. We take intricate measurements of your gums to evaluate. We hear often that we are more thorough than our patients have ever experienced! The threats to gum health are displayed by the most minute changes. The numbers that we call out during our routine evaluations sound mysterious, but are the early-warning signals that save potential pain, time, and expense. We wish to show you how to keep your teeth and gums at their best.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that affects the periodontium, or the tissues that surround your teeth. The bone and tissue should fit tightly. But if there is loss, or a diminishing of this bone and tissue, dangerous pockets can form that are difficult to clean. They allow bacteria to grow and increase the chance for infection. A pocket reduction will solve the immediate threat, and prevent any further deterioration.
The threat begins with the microorganisms and bacteria that grow on the surface of the tooth. The body fights against these organisms by the tissue receding, and next, the bone. Periodontitis is diagnosed by examining the gum tissue with a probe and by evaluating x-rays to see bone loss. Gingival sulcus is the space between a tooth and the surrounding tissue. In gum disease, this pocket is deepened. Sadly, this condition causes the greatest loss of teeth for adults.
Age and wear increases these pockets. So to best slow deterioration, to keep gums and bone as a great foundation for the teeth so cared for, visit us regularly:
- Track the fit of your gums, and detect gingivitis before it turns into periodontitis. During a periodontal exam, we examine the depth of space between your tooth and gum, examine the color and texture of your gums, and also see how much plaque build-up is present.
- Receive Periodontal charting during check-ups, which is the process of organizing your teeth and gum health. Ideal pocket depth is less than 4 mm, which means no risk for periodontal disease.
- Know what is normal for you. Each person has a different skin tone and condition for health. Observe your own mouth to know quickly any variations.
- Brush correctly. Some patients damage their gums by continually pushing upon them so they recede by wear. Let us show you the best techniques to keep the teeth clean without any repetitive threats that happen with the best intensions!
- Floss regularly to keep the space between your teeth clean, and to exercise your gum tissue. Like a muscle, the right exercise strengthens, whereas the wrong, or careless activity, will weaken. A few simple maintenance techniques will make all the difference!
- Obtain treatment early for any issues that do arise. Gums are like an early-warning system for problems that only escalate in seriousness, and do not go away. Though the body is an amazing healer, when it comes to gums, help is needed, especially the longer you live.
Everyone has gum concerns, especially as the years pass. If you are young, the habits that you form now will pay off greatly for an enjoyable future! If you are older, consider the condition of your gums as indicative of your journey. Taking care of this very special collaboration continues to be your health guide like a map to where you most wish to go.
—Arnold K. Chernoff, DDS