Gum health or periodontal health has often been taken for granted at our practice. Dr. Weyneth and I strongly value the importance of your ’gum and tooth supporting bone’, we ALWAYS review what we call your “gum pockets or probings” at your cleanings and dental examinations. These ’pockets’ are measured in millimeters. At Sherman Oaks we take 6 measurements PER TOOTH covering all sides of each tooth. These measurements help us determine how healthy the structure are around your teeth is. If an area of concern is apparent, we show you or discuss with you options you have to improve those deep measurements and improve the overall health of your teeth. Our dental hygienists are ’experts’ at discussing options to gain optimal health of these important structures.
Over the years, I have found that many people do not understand that if they have beautiful healthy looking teeth without any fillings, etc, they can still lose teeth if their ’gum health’ is not at a healthy level! Gum disease has very few symptoms, often being described as a “hidden” disease. Periodontal disease is considered the top reason why adults lose teeth in the United States — not cavities!
What’s even more disturbing is that I often come across patients that have been treated routinely with cleanings before coming to us. These patients are exhibiting “deepened pocket readings” when we evaluate them and these patients have not be made aware of their conditions! WHY? Here are some questions I consider in cases like these:
- Have these patients not been following up with their recommended number of professional cleanings by their hygienist?
- Have they been rushed through their cleanings without detail on how to improved their troubled areas?
- Were they visiting a practice not focusing on prevention?
- Has anyone discussed with them the importance of thorough gum screenings and cleaning?
- Have they been referred to a periodontist or gum specialist and not followed through with a visit?
Whatever the reason may be that we see patients with extreme “Gum Pockets”, it is our priority to help our patients improve their gum health as soon as possible! Our focus is to keep your teeth healthy for a LIFETIME!!!