We Can Help Your Gums Look and Feel Better
Gum disease is where—I’ll just show you with my hand here. Say this is a tooth and this is the gum around it, where there’s actually a space between the tooth and the gum, all right? And what we do is, to test for gum disease, we use what’s called a periodontal probe. It’s this little probe with markings. We go around the tooth and we probe down in the gum and anything that’s three millimeters or less, to get technical, is considered healthy, all right?
If you go deeper and you’re getting bleeding and maybe the patient kind of flinches when you do that, then you’ve got some periodontal disease going on. With that periodontal disease, you’ve got bacteria in the gums and that can get in your bloodstream and it gets into your whole body, so it affects all the systems of the body. The biggest thing is the heart. You know, you can have bacterial endocarditis in the heart.
For treatment of gum disease for keeping a patient comfortable, we actually anesthetize the area. You hear about patients say, “I’ve had deep gum treatments.” I say, “Did they numb you?” You go, “No,” and they say it was painful. Well, you’ve gotta numb a patient to be able to do that type of an aggressive cleaning, and what’s cool about it is when the numbness wears out, usually the patients aren’t uncomfortable. It’s just during that time that you’re doing it, you’ve gotta anesthetize a patient to do it.
Also, what we do is we break it up into two visits, usually, so the patient’s not numb in their whole mouth. Some patients say, “Hey, listen, I wanna do the whole thing,” and we’ll do that. Again, it’s what the patient desires. You know, we’ll educate them about this, say, “Listen, we’ll usually an arch at a time,” and then if they wanna do it, we’ll do it, but generally, we like to do one arch at a time.
We used to do a side at a time, and we got away from that because when you do a side at a time, sometimes when you get to the middle, they start to feel it, so we just number one arch and that way, the whole thing’s numb all the way around. It’s more comfortable that way, you know, fewer injections that way, as well.