WHY IS PREVENTION IMPORTANT?
Regular dental visits are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. According to the American Dental Association, 80% of adults have some form of periodontal disease. With improper care, infections can start within 1-2 weeks. For maximum benefit, a good home care regimen must be supplemented with a visit to your dentist and/or hygienist at least every six months.
Ultimately, our long term goals are to minimize infections and recognize and treat forces that can lead to premature tooth loss. In addition, we will provide the education necessary to improve your oral health, which in turn leads to better overall health.
Checking your teeth for decay is only a small part of your exam at Aerni Dental. Along with an oral cancer screening, an evaluation of your bite/occlusion will be performed to check for excessive wear. Dr. Aerni and your hygienist will also check your gums (gingiva) for inflammation, tooth mobility and pockets and then examine your mouth for indications of possible cancer, diabetes and vitamin deficiencies. Your hygienist will clean your teeth and encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene. Dr. Aerni and his staff will listen to any issues you may be experiencing or have concerns about and discuss options for treatment.
There are two classifications of periodontal diseases based on the severity of the disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a gum infection caused by bacteria and plaque, it affects only the gums and is reversible. Gingivitis, however, may lead to more serious harmful forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is one of the main contributors to premature tooth loss.
You may have periodontal disease and have none of these symptoms. This is where regular dental checkups, your dentist and hygienist play a pivotal role in diagnosis and prevention. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and supporting bone as a result of high levels of bacteria that start a release of tissue-destroying enzymes. There is a part of your gum that is actually not attached to your teeth. It is a shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gum and is called a sulcus. Gum disease attacks the area within the sulcus just below the gum line. The disease causes a breakdown of the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues. As the disease progresses the tissues are damaged and the sulcus now becomes a pocket. Typically, the more severe the disease or infection, the greater the pocket depth. Treatment is aimed at stopping further damage and reversing the progression of the disease.