Diagnosing Periodontal Disease

At Sunshine Family Dental, we are committed to providing our patients with the latest in dental technology and the highest quality of care. Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems. We take the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease very seriously and will do our best to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. 

Our doctors and hygienists are specially trained in diagnosing periodontal disease. During a periodontal exam, we will use a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe to measure the pocket (or space) between the tooth and the gums. A healthy pocket should measure three millimeters or less and should not bleed. If the pocket is deeper than three millimeters, it is an indication that periodontal disease may be present.  

Our doctors or hygienists will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc. to make a diagnosis. This diagnosis will fall into one of the following categories: 

Gingivitis: 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 (tartar). 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 infection. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. 

Advanced Periodontitis: the teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be damaged. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. 

Sunshine Family Dental