Periodontal disease can be diagnosed during a regular dental examination. Your dentist will perform a careful survey of the appearance of your gums, check each tooth for looseness, and use a probe to identify and measure any spaces, known as pockets, which may have formed between your gums and teeth. In periodontal disease, these pockets will measure more than 3 millimeters (mm) in depth. Your dentist may also do a dental x-ray. This type of x-ray can reveal whether or not the bones that support your teeth show signs of deterioration. Evidence of bone loss around teeth is one of the signs of more advanced periodontal disease.
Comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE). American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: https://www.perio.org/consumer/perio-evaluation.htm. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Gum (Periodontal) disease. NIH SeniorHealth website. Available at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/periodontaldisease/riskfactorsandprevention/01.html. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm. Updated September 2013. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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