A periodontal exam, also known as a gum health assessment, is a crucial aspect of dental care, focusing on the health of your gums and supporting structures. Here’s what you can expect during a periodontal exam
1. Medical History and Discussion
Your periodontal exam typically begins with a discussion about your medical history. Your dentist or dental hygienist will inquire about any medical conditions you have, medications you’re taking, and habits such as smoking, which can affect your gum health. It’s essential to provide accurate information to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.
2. Visual Inspection
The next step involves a visual inspection of your gums. Using a dental mirror and probe, the dental professional will examine your gums for signs of redness, swelling, bleeding, and recession. They will also assess the overall appearance of your gums and look for pockets between your gums and teeth, which can be a sign of gum disease.
3. Pocket Depth Measurement
To assess the severity of gum disease, your dentist or hygienist will measure the depth of the pockets around your teeth. A small probe is gently inserted between your gums and teeth to determine the depth of these spaces. Deeper pockets may indicate advanced gum disease.
4. X-rays (if necessary)
In some cases, dental X-rays may be recommended to evaluate the bone structure beneath your gums. X-rays can reveal any bone loss caused by advanced gum disease or other dental issues that may not be visible during the visual inspection.
5. Assessment of Gum Bleeding
The presence of bleeding during the periodontal exam is a significant indicator of gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will carefully observe if your gums bleed when probed or during the cleaning process.
6. Treatment Recommendations
Based on the findings from the periodontal exam, your dental professional will discuss treatment options and recommendations. If gum disease is detected, treatment may include scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotics, or referral to a periodontist (gum specialist) for advanced care. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and be actively involved in developing a treatment plan.
7. Home Care Instructions
Part of the periodontal exam involves educating you on proper oral hygiene practices. Your dentist or hygienist will provide guidance on brushing, flossing, and using any specialized tools or mouthwash to maintain your gum health between dental visits.
A periodontal exam is a comprehensive evaluation of your gum health, involving a discussion of your medical history, a visual inspection of your gums, pocket depth measurements, and potentially X-rays. The goal is to assess the condition of your gums, detect gum disease, and provide appropriate treatment and guidance to maintain or improve your gum health. Residing in Papillion and looking for a periodontal exam? You can visit Paragon Dental for Periodontal exams in Papillion NE. Regular periodontal exams are essential for preventing and managing gum disease, which can contribute to overall oral health and well-being.