What is Periodontal Disease?

Have you ever had a dental hygienist measure the depth of the pockets of your gums with a periodontal probes? Chances are, you have. You just thought it was a form of torture involving poking the tight spaces in your gums with a sharp, pointy instrument. Healthy gums are pink and tight around the teeth, while unhealthy gums are red and start to form pockets around the teeth. Periodontal probes are used to measure the depth of the pockets around one’s teeth. When the probes can slip in between the gum and tooth 1-3mm down, that is considered healthy. When the depth measures 4mm or more, it means the gums are not as healthy as they could be and may require more extensive treatment, depending on the depth.

This is one of the ways we check for early signs of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is infection of in the structures and tissues around the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone. Gingivitis is considered the earliest stage of periodontal disease, where the gum tissue is irritated and red from improper hygiene. We want what is best for our patients, and that’s why we strive to educate about the various risks of neglecting hygiene.

If during your last cleaning, the hygienist and dentist had some concerns about the health of the tissues in your mouth, ask them to give you a more in depth explanation of how to improve your oral hygiene. We are the leading Gilbert dentists, and we look forward to serving you!