QUESTION: Why do I need my gums measured?
Periodontal probing measures the depth of space between the teeth, gums, and supporting bone structure creating a pocket. These pockets are caused by various factors that your dentist and/or dental hygienist will discuss specifically with you. Probing is routinely performed once a year or more often if periodontal treatment is being done. After each probing is completed, it is compared to previous measurements in order to determine any improvements and diagnose changes in the health of your gums. Healthy measurements are between 1 mm to 3 mm with no bleeding. Measurements of 4 mm or more along with bleeding are areas of concern that will need to be assessed and treatment planned for recovery to healthy gums.
Treatment of deep pockets consists of deep scaling, possibly with a local anaesthetic, followed by a medicated mouth rinse. This procedure usually has good results if supported by appropriate home oral hygiene care. Probing can be a little 'pinchy' but the benefits of gathering this information for healthy gums far outweigh the slight discomfort.
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