Sticking to a schedule of semiannual dental exams is a central aspect of maintaining your oral health. When Dr. Jose Montoya examines your teeth every six months, it’s easier to become aware of signs of trouble early, when conditions will be more treatable.
During the exam, your dentist will look for signs of decay. Dr. Montoya will visually inspect the teeth, keeping an eye out for cavities, and review your x-rays to determine if there are any hidden cavities in interproximal areas—the spaces between your teeth.
He will also attend to your gums, or periodontal tissue, during your dental examination. Gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral health, eventually leading to the loss of teeth and bone.
In those situations where home care is not ideal and professional appointments are not kept, gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is the active loss of the surrounding bone that supports the teeth. Common symptoms of periodontitis include: gums that bleed easily, red/swollen gums, persistent bad breath and/or taste, and loose teeth. If the plaque, tartar and bacteria that cause periodontitis are not removed the condition worsens.
When a patient has developed periodontitis, a routine cleaning or prophylaxis that focuses on cleaning above the gum line will not suffice and a deep cleaning is required. When deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, the hygienist will use special instruments to deeply and gently clean under the gums in order to stop bacteria from threatening the surrounding bone of the teeth. Sometimes a local antibiotic can be used to combat the bacteria.
If the periodontitis is severe, it is sometimes necessary to refer patients to a gum specialist or periodontist. Periodontists specialize in surgeries to correct gum and/or bone tissue damaged by periodontitis. The threat of periodontitis is the reason to always maintain good home care and to schedule regular cleanings with a dental professional.
If it’s tough for you to keep tabs on all of your pending appointments, our office can send you a notification to let you know when it’s time to schedule your next visit. Let us know if you’d like to register for this service.