Your dentist or dental hygienist will check for periodontal or gum disease at your regular dental cleaning appointment.
A small dental instrument is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. Three millimeters or less is the depth of healthy sulcus.
Your hygienist will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation and tooth mobility to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below.
Periodontal Disease Categories
- Gingivitis - Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
- Periodontitis - Plaque hardens into calculus. As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
- Advanced Periodontitis - The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.
If you are interested in finding out more about periodontal disease, contact our Westerville dentists through our website or call us directly at (614) 882-1135. Westerville Dental Associates standard is to be the very best at providing our patients optimal care, while making them feel right at home.