As a general dentist, I’m the first line of defense for periodontal (gum) disease. When patients come in, one of the first things we do is check to make sure their gums are healthy. When I diagnose a patient with periodontal disease, my goal is for them to understand the disease and then “own it”. We have to work together to keep it from moving to advanced stages.
Gum disease is personal for me. It has impacted my family – even since I’ve become a dentist my dad and grandfather have lost teeth to gum disease. Every day I try to find a solution for gum disease so my patients don’t have to experience the same thing.
Most of my patients don’t realize they have gum disease. Either they haven’t had a periodontal probing, or they don’t know what the numbers mean. And when patients don’t know what the numbers mean, they can’t help fight gum disease. This is why it’s so important for dentists to educate patients about gum disease – and for patients to ask questions and learn more.