Gingival probing

  • First procedure in discovering gum disease
  • Pocket depths 1 to 3 mm are usually within normal limits
  • Pocket depts 4 mm and larger are a sign of potential gum disease
  • No matter what pocket measurement is present, bleeding apon probing is a sign of active gum disease
  • Accurate gingival probing can only be done when there is no calculus (tartar ) present under the gums.

Other signs of gum disease

Gingival recession

  • Gingival recession can be an indication of gingivitis
  • Gingival recession can also be do to bone loss which can be a sign of a more serious gum disease, periodontitis
  • Gingival recession can also be caused by improper brushing technique
  • Gingival recession can be caused by extreme tooth movement

What if calculus is present on my teeth?

Treatment of periodontal disease

Gross debridement

  • Ultrasonic removal of gross calculus deposits from around the crown and roots of teeth
  • Allows for the beginning stages of healing to occur in patients with gum disease by removing large areas of hard infected tissue above and below the gumline
  • Greatly improves the accuracy of gingival probing

Scaling and root planing

  • Total removal of calculus from the roots of teeth including deposits far under the gum line
  • This procedure is most often done by anesthetizing the gums
  • Once infection has been removed healing can then begin
  • Antimicrobial rinses and antibiotics are sometimes used treating the infection.

And in more severe cases of periodontal disease

Osseous surgery

  • Osseous surgery is done to eliminate very deep pockets within the bone where harmful bacteria live
  • Reshaping of the bone results in immediate shrinkage of the pockets to allow faster healing of both the bone and the gums.