Periodontal Evaluation in Aloha, OR
A visit to the dentist may not be something you want to do, but that twice-yearly cleaning and exam are very important for clean teeth and overall health. Dr. Erica Bronitsky and her team at Bronitsky Family Dentistry can make sure your teeth are clean and you are healthy!
What happens during a dental exam?
Your visit to Bronitsky Family Dentistry will start with a thorough exam. This will include an X-ray, which is important because sometimes damage to teeth isn’t easily seen. It can be below the gum line, in between teeth or inside teeth. The X-rays will also show if you have any problems with your jaw bone.
As the exam continues, Dr. Bronitsky will check for any abnormalities in your head or neck. She will check your temporomandibular joint, the joint that guides your jaw when you open and close your mouth. Problems with this joint are very common and can be very painful. She will check your bite and check the relative position of your teeth to the tongue, the lips, and your other teeth.
And of course, she will check the health of your teeth to make sure there are no cracks, cavities or signs of decay. She will check to make sure there is no discoloration, which can indicate an infection. If you have any restorations (such as crowns, fillings, or bridges), Dr. Bronitsky will make sure they are in good condition. And, she will ask you questions about your health your medical history and your dental habits.
Will my dentist check for gum disease?
Gum disease can be a serious problem if it is not treated. It is not only painful but can lead to the loss of teeth. That’s why another important part of a dental exam is a check for gum disease.
Gum disease starts when plaque builds up on teeth, hardens and becomes tartar. It can only be removed at your dentist’s office. If tartar isn’t removed, it attracts bacteria, which irritate gums. At the most serious stage of gum disease, periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth, the tissue and bone start to erode, and eventually teeth become loose and fall out.
This is why it’s so important to see Dr. Bronitsky for your periodontal evaluation. It is much easier to treat gum disease when it is at its early stages!
You may be at a higher risk for gum disease if gum disease runs in your family, if you have high stress, if you have diabetes, if you clench or grind your teeth, if you are pregnant, or if you use tobacco products.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, don’t wait until your next exam. Call Dr. Bronitsky’s office right away if you notice:
- Your gums are pulling away from your teeth
- Pus coming up between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Teeth that are moving away from each other
- Changes in how your restorations (such as dentures or bridges) fit
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
What else will happen at my dental exam?
The dental exam also is the perfect time to check for oral cancer.
Oral cancer can be head or neck cancer found on the gums, jaw, tongue or lips. As with any type of cancer, it is best to catch it early. Dr. Bronitsky and her staff at Bronitsky Family Dentistry know the importance of screening for oral cancer. That’s why Dr. Bronitsky uses the Velscope Oral Cancer Screening System.
The Velscope Screening System uses a specialized white light source that makes it easy for Dr. Bronitsky to examine oral tissues through a viewing scope. Normal tissues appear as a bright green color, but if they are abnormal they are a darker color.
Using the Velscope, in addition to a visual exam, ensures that any signs of oral cancer will be found early. You might want to make an appointment for a Velscope screen if you have noticed:
- white or red spots
- a rough patch
- a thickening lump
- sores in the oral cavity
- if you have difficulty chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw.
An abnormal screening may not necessarily mean oral cancer. If something suspicious is found during the screening, Dr. Bronitsky may schedule a follow up scan to recheck the abnormality.
And of course, your dental exam will include a thorough cleaning. This will clean teeth to prevent tooth decay, and it will remove plaque and tartar before it can build up and cause gum disease. If necessary, Dr. Bronitsky can advise you on changes you can make when you brush or floss, to clean teeth most effectively.
As you can see, a dental exam has many parts. They all keep you and your mouth healthy! If it is time for your dental exam, give Dr. Bronitsky and the staff at Bronitsky Family Dentistry a call!