Worried About Periodontal Disease? Don’t Skip Your Regular Dental Check-ups!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If your at-home regimen is the “key” to healthy teeth and gums, regular dental check-ups are the lock — you need both to ensure that your teeth and gums are being properly cared for.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we encourage all of our patients to come in for regular dental check-ups. Not only do regular check-ups keep our patients’ teeth clean, they also allow us to monitor our patients for any signs of serious dental problems, such as periodontal disease.

Let’s take a look at how regular dental check-ups play a crucial role in preventing and managing gum disease.

Understanding Periodontal Disease and Inflammatory Diseases

Periodontal Disease (commonly called gum disease) is loss of bone support for the tooth. This usually starts as inflammation of gum tissue and is caused by bacterial growth around the tooth, often along and under the gum line. According to the CDC, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.

In its early stage (AKA gingivitis) the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone is lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out.

There are four stages of Periodontal Disease:

Stage 1: Gingivitis, indicated by red or inflamed gums that may bleed during brushing.

Stage 2: Early periodontitis, in which the bone supporting the teeth shows slight loss of bone mass. Other symptoms may not be apparent.

Stage 3: Moderate periodontitis, in which bone around the teeth and gum tissue are damaged and teeth may start loosening.

Stage 4: Advanced periodontitis, in which symptoms are more severe, teeth may be very loose and biting and chewing can be painful. At this stage, it may prove to be difficult to save the teeth.

The best way to avoid periodontitis is to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits and to schedule regular dental check-ups at Eggert Family Dentistry. You can also reduce your likelihood of developing periodontitis by minimizing or eliminating risk factors that can lead to gum disease.

Causes and Risk Factors of Gum Disease

During a dental check up, or recare visit,, Dr. Jeff Eggert  or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert will be able to assess whether or not any risk factors are present that increase your likelihood of developing periodontitis. Risk factors of gum disease include:

Tobacco use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can significantly increase the risk of gum disease and impede the healing process.

Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can make gums more susceptible to inflammation and gingivitis.

Genetic factors: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing gum disease, even with proper oral hygiene practices.

Certain medications: Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and certain heart medications, can increase the risk of gum disease.

Chronic illnesses: Conditions like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and cancer weaken the immune system and make individuals more susceptible to gum disease.

Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in essential nutrients can compromise the body’s ability to fight off infections, including gum disease.

The Role of Regular Dental Check-ups

Your continued health is our main goal at Eggert Family Dentistry, and regular dental check-ups allow us to protect your oral health for the long-haul. With regular dental check-ups, we can:

  1. Determine your exposure to any risk factors and decide if any extra preventative measures are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  2. Monitor your oral health for any signs of gum disease before it becomes more serious. We are trained to recognize the early signs of gum disease, even before symptoms become noticeable to the individual. During recare visits, we provide a thorough examination, including measuring pocket depths (spaces between teeth and gums) and evaluating gum health.  Early detection allows for timely intervention and prevents the disease from progressing further.
  3. Perform professional teeth cleaning on a consistent basis. Using specialized tools, we will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from above and below the gumline. This thorough cleaning helps prevent the progression of gum disease by eliminating its main causes.

Benefits of Professional Dental Cleanings

There are so many benefits of having your teeth cleaned professionally and regularly, including:

  • Preventing tooth decay and cavities. Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth, stopping cavities before they start.
  • Removal of stubborn stains. Over time, teeth can accumulate stains from various sources such as coffee, tea, tobacco, or soda. Professional dental cleanings include a process called dental polishing, which helps remove these surface stains and improve the appearance of your teeth.
  • Freshening breath. Persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a result of accumulated bacteria and food particles in the mouth. Professional dental cleanings remove these, leaving your breath fresher and more pleasant.

Ready to Schedule Your Dental Recare Visit?

Take control of your oral health and enjoy the benefits of a brighter smile, fresher breath, and peace of mind knowing your dental health is in good hands. Call Eggert Family Dentistry today at 651.482.8412 to schedule a dental check-up with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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