Have you heard the dentist or hygienist saying numbers like this and wondered what it means?
He or she is measuring your periodontal pockets. The periodontal pocket is the pocket formed by your gum tissue that surrounds each tooth. At Goldenberg Dentistry we measure it to aid in diagnosing a patient’s periodontal health: the health of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth.
We use a periodontal probe, an instrument that is inserted into the gum pocket to measure the depth. The measurements are in millimeters and smaller numbers are better.
As seen in the chart 1-3mm is a normal, healthy periodontal probe reading. 4mm means there is some inflammation, known as gingivitis, and there may be some bone loss starting which can be verified with radiographs. A pocket of 5mm means the beginning stages of periodontitis, inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth leading to bone and gum loss. The higher the number, the deeper the pocket, the more bone loss there is.
When a new patient comes in for a comprehensive exam, periodontal probing measurements are recorded in the patient’s chart as a baseline. Each tooth is probed at six different sites; three on the facial (cheek) side of the tooth; another three on the lingual (tongue) side of the tooth. The measurements and radiographs are used to evaluate the overall loss of attachment and help diagnose if a patients needs a routine prophy cleaning or a deep cleaning, also called scaling and root planning. The measurements are checked at recall cleaning appointments to aid in monitoring a patient’s periodontal health
Dr. Joel Goldenberg and Dr. Jessica Goldenberg not only love treating patients, but educating them as well. Call or e-mail Goldenberg Family Dentistry to set up your comprehensive examination today! (805) 642-4541 firstname.lastname@example.org