Young woman showing healthy gums on grey background, closeup

The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups for Gum Health

Routine dental exams and cleanings are essential for maintaining healthy gum tissue. During a dental checkup, your dentist in Vero Beach, Florida, determines if you have any teeth, gum, or jaw issues that are negatively affecting your oral health. If you do have oral health problems, treatment is vital for maintaining healthy gums because untreated dental issues could lead to the development of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. If gingivitis develops and progresses to periodontitis, the gingival tissue (i.e., gum tissue) recedes. At this point, tooth loss is likely.

Dental Checkups and Gum Health

Regularly scheduled dental exams benefit your teeth, gingival tissue, jaw and overall health.

Benefits of Regular Checkups Include:

Detecting Tooth Decay Early On

Since decay is a gradual process, it can take some time for the symptoms to become evident. Therefore, a dental checkup is the only way to detect decay in its early stages.

Recognizing and Treating Gingivitis Before It Progresses To Periodontitis

If gum disease does develop, your dentist in Vero Beach, Florida, will recognize the signs. With early detection, treatment can begin before the bacterial infection advances to periodontitis, which is the stage that results in permanent, irreversible damage.

Preventing Tooth Loss Resulting From Gum Disease

Regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings can help prevent the development and progression of gum disease. Damage resulting from gingivitis is usually reversible. However, once periodontitis develops, the damage it causes is permanent.

Understanding Gum Disease

Brushing and flossing remove most of the sticky film (i.e., plaque) that develops on the teeth. However, the plaque that is left behind hardens into tartar (aka calculus). When tartar remains on the teeth, it houses bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gum tissue and promote the development of gingivitis. This tartar must be removed by a dental professional.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. During this initial stage, the gums are inflamed and bleed easily. Damage resulting from gingivitis can be rectified.

The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. This stage of gum disease results in the gingival tissue receding, which eventually exposes the roots of the teeth. These exposed roots can cause tooth pain and sensitivity to temperature variations in food, beverages and air. At this point, any damage to the bone, teeth and gum tissue is permanent. Furthermore, tooth loss is likely.

How Often Should Someone Have a Dental Checkup and Cleaning?

The American Dental Association (ADA) states dental checkups and cleanings should be scheduled at regular intervals. A Vero Beach, Florida, dentist can determine your dental checkup and cleaning frequency. However, for most people, checkups and cleanings are recommended twice a year. Nonetheless, if dental or gum issues arise, you may need checkups and cleanings more often.

How Do Dental Cleanings Affect Your Overall Health?

When gingival tissue is inflamed, it bleeds. This break in the gum tissue allows oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which is how poor oral health can negatively affect your overall health. However, routine dental checkups and cleanings improve your gum health, which reduces the likelihood that oral bacteria will enter your bloodstream.

What Is a Surgical Cleaning?

Once you develop periodontal disease, your bone and gum tissue begin to sustain damage. Deep pockets of bacteria and pus form at the gum line. The severity of these pockets determines whether they can be addressed manually using a scaler or if surgical cleaning is required.

During a surgical cleaning, Dr. Brown uses an antibacterial rinse to flush out the pockets. In addition, the tartar that has built up beneath the gum line is removed with a scaler.

Following a surgical cleaning, you may need to return to Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics in Vero Beach, Florida, every three months for a periodontal-specific general cleaning.

If you have a referral to see a periodontist or think you have gum disease, Dr. Jeff Brown can help. His experience, skill and dedication to excellence make him a top periodontist and implant specialist in the Vero Beach, Florida, area. To schedule an appointment at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics, please call 772-569-9700 or click here.