Periodontal disease is a progressive inflammatory disease, that affects the tissues that support and anchor the teeth. These support tissues include, gums, bone, cementum and ligament attachments. Periodontal measurement is an evaluation performed by a dental professional, which involves measuring the health of your gums and supporting bone structure for your teeth. Bone loss is first caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria around a tooth and if the bacteria is not removed properly it causes gum inflammation and in later stages, if left untreated, will eventually lead to bone loss.
How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by taking measurements of the gums around each tooth. This measures the depth of the gums where the gums meet the teeth. This depth is called a periodontal pocket.
• Healthy pockets measure 3 millimeters or less. This is a depth that bacteria and dangerous inflammatory irritants can be removed by brushing and flossing.
• When periodontal pockets become deeper than 3mm, it becomes a bacteria and plaque trap that cannot be reached with a toothbrush and requires professional intervention.
• At 5mm, periodontal disease has progressed to a point that some bone has been lost from around the teeth, but with treatment, can be regenerated.
• At 7mm, bone regeneration becomes more difficult, but health can be restored to the gum tissue to prevent further bone loss and decrease the risk of tooth loss. The help of a periodontist will be required for the best results.
• At 9mm, tooth loss becomes a real possibility and the long-term prognosis of these teeth may be in question.
Ways To Help Reduce Periodontal Measurements And Maintain Healthy Gums:
• Brushing: Practicing proper oral hygiene daily, through brushing at least two times a day for at least four minutes.
• Flossing: Daily flossing is very important when it comes to gum health, because it goes between your teeth and under your gums to help reduce bacterial build-up where a toothbrush can not reach.
• Eating a well-balanced diet.
• Maintaining regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning.
• Do not smoke. Smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease.