Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, often making you get dentures or implants. The disease arises from poor brushing and flossing. It occurs after plaque forms and hardens on the teeth and under the gums. If you are above 30 years, there is a 50 percent chance that you have gum disease, and probably you aren’t aware. This often “silent” infection needs to be treated as early as possible. There may be noticeable symptoms such as red, swollen gums, or bleeding and painful gums.
How Periodontal Probe Can Help
A periodontist will use a metal device known as a periodontal probe to detect if you have periodontal pockets, a common sign of gum disease. Gum pockets occur when the gum attachments die and start detaching themselves from the tooth. As the gums pull away, the void may become swollen or inflamed, and infected.
During an exam, a periodontist inserts the probe into the space between the gums and tooth known as the sulcus. The probe features markings indicating gum pocket depths in millimeters. In normal circumstances, the sulcus has a depth of about 1 to 3 mm. If a periodontist probes deeper, it may indicate a periodontal pocket. The deeper the periodontal pocket, the severe the gum infection.
A probe of 5mm indicates early to mild periodontal disease while 5 to 7 mm indicates moderate gum disease. A deeper probe indicates an advanced form of gum disease. A periodontist uses the measurements of periodontal pocket depths to help determine the right treatment strategy. The treatment aims at removing bacterial plaque, which fuels the infection. For mild to moderate depths, the dentist may just use a scaler to remove the plaque. However, if the probing indicates deeper pockets, it means the disease has advanced and surgical procedure may be needed to access the infected areas. Contact us to examine you for gum disease before it progresses and worsens.