Gum Pocket Measurement and Tracking
Gum disease is a progressive oral health issue that, without treatment, can lead to serious complications such as gum recession, infections in the teeth, and tooth loss. Regular dental exams are crucial for detecting the presence of gum disease. At Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry, we can monitor the health of your gums, and detect the presence of gum disease, with gum pocket measurement and tracking.
Why Do We Measure Gum Pockets?
Your gums form a protective seal around the necks of your teeth, protecting the roots and your jawbone from bacteria. The very top of this tissue does not connect, leaving a small space between the gums and the teeth before the tissue does connect. When your mouth is affected by gum disease, the space between your gums and your teeth become deeper. To help you maintain the health of your mouth, we take measurements of your gum pockets, record these measurements, and monitor them over time. Measuring and tracking gum pocket depths can also be used to help diagnose the presence of gum disease as well as make sure that your mouth is healing properly following gum disease treatment.
The Depths of Your Gum Pockets
The depths of your gum pockets can be very telling. Healthy gums have pockets that measure between 1 and 3 millimeters and do not bleed when you brush and floss. Pockets of this depth that are accompanied by bleeding often indicate the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis. This stage can often be treated with a thorough cleaning and an improved oral care routine at home. There are 6 points of measurement around each tooth, three on the facial side, and three on the inside. Regularly monitoring the depths of your gum pockets allow us to monitor bone and tissue attachment. Measurements are typically taken once or twice a year, although they may be measured more frequently in the presence of active gum disease.
What if the Gum Pockets are too Deep?
If your periodontal pockets measure 4 millimeters or deeper, the gums are considered to be unhealthy. As the pockets grow deeper, it is strong indication that there is also bone loss in the jaw as well. If we note that your gum pockets are too deep, we will then recommend treatment to help restore your oral health. Treatment depends upon the depth of your periodontal pockets and may include such treatments as scaling and root planing, periodontal maintenance, and pocket reduction surgery. In severe cases, a gum or bone graft may also be needed.
Protecting the Health of Your Gums
It is possible to protect the health of your gums and prevent the periodontal pockets from becoming too deep. Regular oral hygiene is crucial. It is essential that you brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Regular dental cleanings and exams are also key. Cleanings help to prevent gum disease and other issues while exams allow us to check your mouth for potential issues. This includes measuring the depth of your gum pockets. By tracking your gum pockets, we can provide you with effective treatment to prevent the issue from becoming worse. If you have any questions about gum pocket measurement and tracking or have concerns over the health of your mouth, call Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry today at (425) 270-1075.