The staff at Couchman Dental will check your mouth for periodontal disease during your normal dental check-up. To do this, a periodontal probe measures the space between the tooth and the gums (this space is known as the sulcus). If your sulcus measures more than three millimeters, it is not healthy and could be the sign of disease. Your dentist will also look at tooth mobility, bleeding, inflammation, and related factors that could indicate one of the following periodontal diseases.
Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and similar toxin byproducts irritate the gums, causing them to be tender, inflamed, and sore, sometimes to the point of bleeding. This damages the sulcus.
Periodontitis – Untreated plaque hardens and becomes tartar (also known as calculus). As tartar and plaque accumulate, gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deep pockets form between gums, and teeth become inundated with pus and bacteria. Bone loss may also occur during this irritated, inflamed state.
Advanced Periodontitis – As gums, periodontal ligament, and bone continue to erode, teeth continue to weaken. Without proper treatment teeth will come loose and may fall out. Moderate or severe bone loss may occur.