Friday, July 24, 2015

Why Full Mouth Probing?

As our knowledge of dental diseases and their prevention becomes before complete, you might notice that we begin to do some things a little differently around the office. A good example of this is the periodontal probing (gum measuring) that most of our patients are having done now at their regular cleaning appointments.

Gum disease is the reason many of us know someone (most likely our parents) who lost some or all of their teeth to this disease. It used to be called Pyrrorhea. Today it is called Periodontal disease and even though there isn't a cure for it yet, now it is controllable. Many people in our practice who have their teeth today, would have had them extracted only 10 years ago. Ten years ago when you went to your physician, they didn't automatically test your cholesterol level to help prevent heart disease. 10 years ago physicians didn't know the connection between cholesterol and heart disease. These days everyone gets screened. At our office now everyone gets screened for periodontal disease, but instead of taking a blood sample we just use a tiny ruler and measure the gum pockets around your teeth.

We not only measure how deep the pocket is, but we also look for other signs that gum disease might be present, such as bleeding and or infection. The deeper the gum pocket, the more likely it is that someone has or might get periodontal disease, especially if spontaneous bleeding or infection is present. Gum disease is without a doubt the #1 reason why people over the age of 40 end up losing their teeth.

Unfortunately, gum disease is a completely painless disease, and thus gives you no warning that you have the disease. However there are some warning signs to look for that are attached to this sheet. Gum disease usually strikes at the age of 35-40, but if caught and treated early enough, teeth can still be saved for a lifetime.

REMEMBER:  Healthy gums should not bleed when you brush, floss, or we measure pockets. So when we ask you to watch us measure your gum pockets it's not to gross you out, it's so you can see where the problems are and work on those areas at home.

If you have any questions about mouth probing or Periodontal disease, please call Omni Dental Group at (512) 250-5012