Periodontal Disease Diagnosis

Periodontal Disease Diagnosis

Periodontal disease is diagnosed during a periodontal examination by your dental hygienist or dentist. This exam should also be incorporated into your regular dental check-up.

The sulcus (space or pocket) between the gums and the tooth is gently measured by a periodontal probe (small dental instrument). A healthy sulcus does not bleed and has a depth of 3 millimeters or less. The depth of the pockets is indicated by the periodontal probe. The pockets get deeper as periodontal disease progresses.

Your dental hygienist or dentist uses pocket depths, tooth mobility, inflammation amount of bleeding, for diagnosis that will fall into one of the following categories:


The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed, tender, and likely to bleed.


Gingivitis become periodontitis once the plaque hardens into tartar (calculus). As tartar and plaque continue to build up, the gums start receding from the deep. This causes deeper pockets to form and become filled with pus and bacteria. The gums become extremely inflamed, irritated, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may also occur.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis takes hold as the bone, gums, and periodontal ligament continues to be destroyed and the teeth increasingly lose support. Unless treated, the teeth affected become very loose and might even fall out. Moderate to severe bone loss may also occur.


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