How do we diagnose periodontal disease?
The crevice between a tooth and a surrounding gum is called a sulcus. A healthy sulcus is two to three millimeters deep. When plaque and tartar invade the sulcus, it becomes deeper than three millimeters, this is called a pocket. We measure the depth of all pockets using a periodontal probe. The measurement is from the bottom of the pocket, where the gum is attached to the tooth, to the top of the gums. In general, the deeper the pockets, the greater the extent of periodontal disease.
We also examine the color, shape, and overall condition of the gums. Bleeding is a sign of infection; healthy gums don’t bleed. Healthy gums are firm and slightly rippled. In moderate cases of periodontal disease, we see swollen gums.
X-rays also tell us a lot about periodontal disease, because they allow us to monitor your bone levels. In a healthy mouth, the bone comes up high around the necks of the teeth, and the bone level is even throughout the mouth. With advanced periodontal disease, the bone levels are much lower and are uneven.
In short, we look for the following signs to diagnose periodontal disease:
• Probe readings greater than three millimeters,
• Bleeding upon probing,
• Swollen and red gums, especially between the teeth,
• And bone loss or tartar buildup
Absolute Smile cares about the health of their patients so please call 1-800-SMILE-47 today and our staff will schedule a free consultation for you to meet with our dentists to evaluate the condition of your bone and gums.