What is periodontal disease? Gingivitis?
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by Dr. Edwards and/or your Registered Dental Hygienist during each regular dental exam. This is where a periodontal probe is used to measure the pocket between the tooth and gums. A healthy reading during this procedure is a measurement of 3mm or less and no bleeding. There are 4 periodontal categories; healthy, gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Once your hygienist has taken and recorded your measurements, they will then decide which category you are in and how to proceed, accordingly.
Healthy gum measurements are from 1-3mm. During this phase gum tissue is a firm, light pink, with no bleeding during probing or cleaning.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. This is where measurements are 4mm or below and bleeding is present due to plaque along gumline. This is a very treatable phase where changing your homecare routine can easily improve your oral health
In the third stage, Periodontitis, the plaque is beginning to harden, turning into tarter, and irritating not only the gum tissue but also the bone. Measurements will be from 5-7mms, bleeding on probing, and slight-moderate radiographic bone loss is present.
In the fourth stage, Advanced Periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present on x-rays and intraorally.