Early Detection of Periodontal Disease | Waltham MA Dentist

Periodontal Disease: Early Detection Can Lead Too Long-Term Wellness

At NK Family Dentistry, we are focused on your overall dental health and overall wellness!  This means we are not only here to treat a patient’s immediate problem, like a cavity or root canal, but also keeping an accurate patient chart and history that is updated with every patient visit. Ever wonder what all those numbers mean when your dental hygienist assigns a series of numbers each tooth during an exam from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6?   This key part of your exam is called perio charting – which is simply assigning measurement of your gum around each tooth and noting bleeding.
What does perio chart say about your mouth health?  This clinical technique helps your dental team keep a chronological calendar of your gum health.  But why does this matter?  The higher the number goes– the greater your risk for disease, infection or inflammation, not only in your mouth but also your body.  
High numbers, 4 or greater at any point around a tooth or teeth, normally indicates a patient has periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease can cause a gum to pull away from your tooth and create a “pocket” that can become infected.  Once infected and if left untreated, periodontal disease can destroy the bone around the teeth and cause them to become loose or even fall out.  New research has also showed that periodontal disease is related to other chronic diseases, like heart disease.  Therefore, keeping records and treating your gums can directly help your overall health.  
NK Family Dentistry is always looking for ways that technology can help in with patient education and clinical results – which is why we recently upgraded to a digital, audio perio charting system.  This will allow a very manual process to become digitally based, provide an important tool to help patients understand during their exam what is going on with their gums, and provide accurate information in a patient file to help prevent potential problems like periodontal disease.   
During you next exam, be sure to ask your Waltham, MA dentist about your gum health and discuss any changes in your medical history like high blood pressure or a diagnosis of heart disease.  The more we know, the better we can help provide the highest standard of care!  A family dentistry practice isn’t only about keeping your mouth heathy – it’s about keeping you healthy!