Diagnosis of periodontitis is generally simple. Diagnosis is based on your description of symptoms and an exam of your mouth. Your dentist will look for plaque and tartar buildup and check for easy bleeding.
To determine how severe your periodontitis is, your dentist may:
Feb. 04, 2014
- Use a dental instrument to measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and your teeth. Your dentist or a hygienist inserts a metal probe beside your tooth beneath your gumline, usually at several sites throughout your mouth. In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters (mm). Pockets deeper than 5 mm may indicate periodontitis.
- Take dental X-rays to check for bone loss in areas where your dentist observes deeper pocket depths.
- Periodontitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/periodontal_disorders/periodontitis.html. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms and treatments. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Wilder RS, et al. Gingivitis and periodontitis in adults: Classification and dental treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Types of gum disease. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/types-gum-disease.html. Accessed July 3, 2013.
- Gum disease risk factor. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/risk-factors. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Periodontal pocket reduction procedures. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/pocket-reduction-procedures.htm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Gum graft surgery. American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/grafts.htm. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Esposito M, et al. Enamel matrix derivative (Emdogain) for periodontal tissue regeneration in intrabony defects. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003875.pub3/abstract. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Brushing your teeth. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Flossing. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2013.
- Kawar N, et al. Periodontal disease for the primary care physician. Disease-a-Month. 2011;57:174.
- Gingivitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental_disorders/periodontal_disorders/gingivitis.html. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2013.
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