Receiving a gum disease diagnosis can bring on a wave of different emotions. It’s almost similar to the stages of grief or a breakup. You thought you had healthy gums, then your dentist shocks you with this diagnosis. Here are the 6 stages of gum disease diagnosis explained.
It’s difficult to sit through a diagnosis discussion, let alone find the time even see a dentist. So, while you’re focusing on the all the other things you need to do once you leave your dental appointment, hearing that you have gum disease might halt your thoughts. You may have expected to hear that you need to floss more or that you have a cavity or two. An unexpected gum disease diagnosis can cause some shock.
The next stage in denial. You may think that it’s impossible for you to have gum disease. You may brush regularly and even have seemingly perfect flossing habits. Gum disease is diagnosed through dental x-rays, visual exams, and measuring pocket depth, or the space between your gums and teeth or jaw. So, you may be thinking that your dentist has it wrong, but more often than not, he or she gave the correct diagnosis. It’s better to accept the diagnosis and find ways to manage it rather than be in denial.
Instead of being in denial about your diagnosis, you may become angry. If you feel like you’ve been actively taking care of your teeth and gums, a gum disease diagnosis can cause anger. That’s common. It’s important to understand that gum disease can be caused by many factors. Diabetes, pregnancy hormones, chemotherapy drugs, and other prescriptions that cause dry mouth can lead to gum disease or make it worse. Even despite your efforts, gum disease can be genetic and inevitable.
It’s important not to bargain with your dentist after being given a gum disease diagnosis. Your dentist isn’t a car mechanic. You can’t brush off gum disease like you would if your mechanic told you that your car is leaking a little oil. If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis, you can’t ask your dentist for just a routine cleaning and promise to take better care of your gums.
People in this stage realize that their oral health is a critical part of whole-body health. Common treatment for periodontitis is scaling and root planing. This can be done in one visit to the dentist or over multiple appointments. After the treatment, your dentist will check to see that you’re healing and give you tips on maintaining your oral health.
The last stage of a gum disease diagnosis is maintenance. If you’ve reached this stage, then you’re in a great position. After treating your gum disease, it’s important to maintain your oral health. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions when taking care of your teeth and gums. Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist will also ensure that gum disease can be prevented in the future.
Barganier & LeCroy, the Gum Experts
Barganier & LeCroy understands that a gum disease diagnosis can be difficult to hear. If you’d like to learn more about gum disease prevention and treatment, contact us today!