Understanding Your Oral Health Status

Posted By The Szikman Dental Group, P.C. || 17-Sep-2013

We are all different, from the color of our hair to the style of clothes we wear. Those differences also include our teeth, as no two smiles are exactly the same. Our job at The Szikman Dental Group, P.C. is to ensure that you have a healthy, beautiful smile that you can be fully proud of for a lifetime. One of the tools we have in our arsenal of technology to maintain your dental health is the classification of oral health status.

Your oral health does not just include your teeth, but your gums and oral tissues as well. Much like a house requires a solid foundation to rest on, your teeth need your gums to be solid and healthy to ensure their longevity. We understand that it is vitally important to treat your oral health in a holistic fashion – not just the teeth, but the gums, the bone, the tissue, the tongue, the inside of your cheeks, and your palate. Our dentists and hygienists have a system of classification to understand your oral health status and ensure that you receive the very best care for your individual dental needs.

Oral health status, or periodontal classifications have four different categories. The first is Type 1, or healthy gums, then Type 2 – gingivitis, or inflamed gums, followed by Type 3, which is periodontitis, and finally, Type 4 – advanced periodontitis.

Everyone starts at Type 1 – a state of healthy gums. Maintaining good home care by brushing and flossing daily and keeping your twice-annual professional dental cleanings and examinations will keep your gums at Type 1 and you will never need to worry about periodontal issues.

Type 2, or gingivitis, is a warning sign. Gingivitis is the presence of inflammation in your gums, which can cause them to be red, puffy, and painful, and bleed when you floss. Gingivitis is the only reversible stage of pre-periodontitis. Taking care of this issue when it manifests will ensure the return of your gums to a healthy state. Additional brushing and flossing during the day, fluoride and mouth rinse treatments, and seeing your dental hygienist a little more often can circumvent this situation.

Type 3 periodontitis is when your gingivitis has progressed to a non-reversible state and simply must be maintained from becoming any worse. At this stage, we at The Szikman Dental Group, P.C. will often refer you to a gum specialist to address your specific needs in that area. Sometimes specialized cleanings under the gums or surgery will become necessary to ward off any further deterioration. The continuation of highly diligent home care is essential at this stage.

Finally, Type 4 advanced periodontitis can bring about the breakdown of your bone, the loss of attachment, and often, the loss of your teeth. Type 4 patients require the constant care of both a periodontist and a general dentist to try and maintain the remaining dentition and bring it back to a state of health to preclude any more tooth loss. Call The Szikman Dental Group today to ensure the lifelong health of your teeth and gums!

Categories: Dental