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Maintaining a Dental Checkup To Prevent Gum Disease
A dental checkup is essential for keeping the gums and teeth healthy. During the checkup, the dentist will examine the mouth, teeth, and gums for signs of diseases. The measures taken by dentists for gum disease is a patient’s first line of defense. In this article, you will discover how staying consistent with dental checkup can help prevent gum disease.
The dental appointment
Unlike tooth sensitivity or toothache, gum disease is not always accompanied by pain or discomfort. More so, most people do not seek help immediately when they notice signs such as red, bleeding, swollen, or receding gums. If gum disease is not treated promptly in its early stages, it could worsen into periodontitis, which is the advanced stage of the disease and could cause tooth loss.
At the beginning of the appointment, the dentist will take the patient’s medical history, which will help them assess the patient’s health and risk factors. Patients may need to answer questions about any symptoms of gum disease, smoking habits or family history of gum disease, or oral hygiene routine, including how often they floss and brush.
Answering these questions during a dental checkup can help the dentist determine if the patient is likely to have periodontal disease. If they have undergone a dental procedure for gum disease or if they're experiencing early signs of the condition, it notifies the dentist about potential issues. If the patient is a smoker or has a family history of the disease, then they are at higher risk. The dentist will recommend good oral health routine to minimize the risk of gum disease.
The second stage of the dental checkup is a clinical examination, where the dentist will search for symptoms of gum disease, including:
Inflamed, swollen or red gums
Receding gums – when the gum line draws away from the tooth
Deep pockets forming between the teeth and the gums
Changes in gum texture – gum disease may cause the gums to turn glossy, smooth, and puffy.
Loose or shaky teeth
How dentists treat gum disease
If the dentist diagnoses gingivitis during the dental checkup, they may recommend professional cleaning, called scaling and polishing. This procedure is done by either the dentist or a dental hygienist and helps to remove the stubborn accumulation of plaque from the teeth and keep the oral cavity clean.
The dentist or hygienist will also provide suggestions on how to reverse and prevent gum disease at home.
Patients must visit their dentist regularly to get a professional cleaning and undergo a dental checkup. While regular brushing and flossing will help to reduce the occurrence of plaque, once they build up into tartar, only the dentist can remove them using dental tools. Also, regular checkups allow the dentist to monitor the patient’s oral health properly and detect problems before they worsen and require extensive or costly dental procedures.
The dentist will inform the patient on how often to come for a dental checkup, based on the patient’s risk of getting cavities or gum disease. If you develop a problem or symptoms ahead of your next dental appointment, ensure you contact the dentist immediately.
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