Periodontal Probing 101

LindsayW

Lindsay Whitlock RDH

John, the patient, is taken back to the dental operatory for his dental cleaning appointment.  The dental hygienist reviews John’s chart, his medical history, and John addresses any concerns he has in his mouth. The hygienist lays John back in the chair. John cringes, as he sees the hygienist holding a pointy tool in her hand. She informs him, “John, I am going to take a few measurements around each tooth, to assess how healthy your gums, and bone levels are.” John opens his mouth, and thinks to himself “I wonder if this going to hurt?” “What is she even doing with that tool anyways?”

Prior to becoming a dental hygienist, I too was like John. I did not understand what that “pointy” tool was, or why it needed to be used. With this blog post, I would like to briefly educate my dental patients of what a periodontal probe is, and why it is utilized in the dental office.

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That pointy tool the hygienist uses at the beginning of a dental appointment is called a periodontal probe. The periodontal probe is marked in millimeter increments, which is used to evaluate the health of the patient’s gum, and surrounding bone levels of the jaw, with little to NO discomfort!

 

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Each of your teeth are sitting in jawbone. Additionally, each tooth is surrounded by gum tissue (gingiva). To simplify this concept, your gums surround each tooth like a turtleneck sweater.

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There is a natural space of pocket between the gum and tooth. The periodontal probe is used to measure this pocket depth, at each dental appointment.

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 In health, the tooth is surrounded by a gum pocket depth of 1-3 mm (No bone loss of the jaw bone).

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 If gingivitis is present (Swollen gums-no bone loss of the jaw bone) the tooth is surrounded by a 4 mm. pocket depth.

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 A periodontal pocket (Mild-Advanced periodontitis) is present when the space between the tooth and gum has been deepened by disease and bone loss. A 5-12 mm pocket depth surround the tooth or teeth.

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 The next time you are in the dental chair, feel free to ask your dentist or dental hygienist your latest periodontal probing scores. If you have never had these measurements taken before, call our office today and schedule a new patient exam, to determine the health of your mouth!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/probing-150304002025-conversion-gate01/95/probing-4-638.jpg?cb=1425450081

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.jabfm.org/content/23/3/285/F6.large.jpg&imgrefurl=http://imgkid.com/oral-cavity-diagram.shtml&h=929&w=1280&tbnid=QTPxgTXY_157NM:&zoom=1&docid=muXuT2D8a_l-rM&ei=gik0VeWcGZKHgwTj8oL4Bw&tbm=isch&ved=0CGwQMyhIMEg

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anicesmile.com%2Fgum_care.htm&ei=eB00VZSAAcWqgwS6uIH4DA&bvm=bv.91071109,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNEelreU-hCgZkFOw-zD66VytX1oWw&ust=1429565102055540

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpixshark.com%2Fperiodontal-probe-measurements.htm&ei=IzI0VabtA8HYggTXhICoAQ&bvm=bv.91071109,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNG8JqFvrTWfgyW7lJDBKPoToB2P0g&ust=1429570410736621

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fimgbuddy.com%2Fperiodontal-probe-measurements.asp&ei=bBc0Vd3rJYa_ggT9tYHIAg&bvm=bv.91071109,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGZO6FQ7Orbd5mXZx5HOFLLyJqYdA&ust=1429563605237318

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The Platypus Orthodontic Flosser

KO6A8495-Edit - Copy

Lora Cook RDH

“Help! I just got my braces on and it takes me 20 minutes to floss my teeth.”

I have heard this statement before from some of my patients.  Well I am here to tell you that your dental hygienist is here to the rescue.

I am sure that the orthodontist carefully demonstrated how to use floss threaders to thread the floss under the wire.

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Well I am here let you know about another alternative to threaders.  This orthodontic flossing device was invented my a hygienist trying to help her patients with the time consuming and frustrating chore of flossing under braces. It is called the platypus.

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The Platypus orthodontic flosser was co-invented by pediatric dental hygienist Laura Morgan and hygiene product developer Fred Van de Perre.

This device fits easily under arch wire and between brackets. Flossing daily will help gum tissue stay health and help to prevent tooth decay. Best of all it will only take you 2 minutes instead of 20!

How to use the Platypus orthodontic flosser.

*Insert spatula end of the flosser under your wire and press lightly against the teeth.

*Press spatula against your teeth to remove floss slack. Slide floss up between your teeth.

*In difficult to reach area, it is key to maintain pressure against your teeth while flossing.

*The bracket brush cleans around your brace brackets.

Where do I get these?

Amazon or  drugstore.com sells them.

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Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.drugstore.com/platypusco-orthodontic-flosser/qxp361704

http://www.drugstore.com/popups/largerphoto/default.asp?pid=361704&catid=183799&size=500&trx=29888&trxp1=361704&trxp2=1

http://drmodjeski.com/oralhygiene.html

http://audrey5942f.blogspot.com/2013/01/platypus-ortho-flosser-for-braces.html

http://www.scottsdental.com/product_images/w/972/346-T106__82881_zoom.jpg

Thyroid 101

Importance of Early Detection

KarenK

Karen Kelley RDH

Importance of Early Detection

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and, as dental professionals, we want our patients to understand the significance of routine oral cancer screenings.  When you get your teeth cleaned, the dental hygienist or dentist will look at all the areas in your mouth, including your tongue. They will also check for any swelling along the neck.  We do this on every patient regardless of age or habits.

Another way to identify a possible oral cancer lesion is to be aware of what is in your own mouth.  Look at your tongue, the tissues of your cheeks and around the teeth.  If you notice something like a red or white patch, take note of the appearance.  If the lesion doesn’t go away after 2-3 weeks, go see your dentist for his opinion.  He may check the area again after 2-3 weeks or he may refer you to a specialist to have the area evaluated.

“There is much that can be done for those who are diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Since early detection and treatment is critical, it’s important to see your dentist regularly and to promptly see a medical professional if there are any warnings signs,” — The Oral Cancer Foundation

Oral cancer symptoms:

Persistent mouth sore: A sore in the mouth that does not heal is the most common symptom of oral cancer

Pain: Persistent mouth pain is another common oral cancer sign

A lump or thickening in the cheek

A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth

A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away

Difficulty swallowing or chewing

Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

Numbness of the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth

Jaw swelling that makes dentures hurt or fit poorly

Loosening of the teeth

Pain in the teeth or jaw

Voice changes

A lump in the neck

Weight loss

Persistent bad breath

Again, if you notice any of these things, come into the office and get things checked out.  The earlier oral cancer is identified, the better the outcome.

 

 

oral-cancer-infographic-1-638

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.cancercenter.com/oral-cancer/symptoms/?source=GOOGLPPC&channel=paid+search&c=paid+search%253AGoogle%253ANon+Brand%253ABroad%253Asigns+of+oral+cancer%253ABroad&OVMTC=Broad&site=&creative=42231931401&OVKEY=signs+of+oral+cancer&url_id=190254693&device=c&gclid=CIXk0IDm3sQCFUWVfgoduEYAJg

http://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/risk-factors.php