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Do you have bleeding gums? During your initial, and subsequent annual dental exams, your dentist may be measuring your bleeding gums and read out your numbers. Why? This is used to determine your gum tissue health and that of the underlying supporting bone. A 1-3mm space (or “pocket”) is normal; a 3-5mm pocket indicates there may be an early infection without irreversible bone loss; a 5-7mm pocket indicates a moderate periodontal infection that has caused some irreversible bone loss to the tooth; a 7-10mm pocket indicates advanced periodontal disease and significant irreversible bone loss has now occurred. The presence of bleeding upon probing is a key indicator of an active infection.
At your initial examination, your dentist will “chart” your gum tissue health and will determine whether a regular cleaning or a deep cleaning is necessary to remove all the bacteria and debris at the base of your teeth. After which a regular maintenance cleaning is needed to make sure that your gums stay healthy. This meticulous process is to make sure that bone loss around your teeth does not occur. Prolonged bone loss around your teeth, can lead to teeth movement and or loss of your teeth, bad breath, and chronic gum pain. It can also exacerbate diseases of your body such as diabetes, heart disease, and cause pre-term birth. Remember the mouth is the gateway to your body and your overall health.
Prior to the fabrication of crowns, bridges, and or partial dentures, the foundation of the teeth must be healthy. This is to ensure there is no bone loss around the teeth that would compromise the longevity of the crowns, bridges, and or partials. It never hurts to get a second opinion! Bone loss around your teeth is irreversible. Just as you would never build your house on a weak sandy foundation, you would never build crowns, bridges, or a partial denture on teeth with weak bone supporting structures. Feel free to call Dr. Huang, a dual-board certified prosthodontist, for a second opinion. You will sleep better at night.