At the begining of a periodontal evaluation complete medical and dental history, medications, and allergies will be reviewed.
During a periodontal evaluation the periodontist uses a periodontal probe to measure the space between your tooth and gums. This is done for six areas around each tooth.
In a state of health this space (sulcus) is 1-3mm with no bleeding. When the space is 4mm or more with bleeding and/or inflammation, the space is then called a periodontal pocket. The deeper the pocket the more advanced the periodontal disease. Where bleeding occurs is also measured, percent of bleeding sites or bleeding index. Again, just as with a periodontal pocket, the more bleeding the more severe or widespread the periodontal disease.
Gum recession is also measured. This is where the gum line has moved away from the top of the tooth toward the middle, or bottom of the tooth.
Tooth mobility is also recorded. Loose teeth also indicate that gum disease is present. The more mobile the tooth the more severe the gum disease. The patient’s bite is assessed and classified. How the teeth come together or don’t come together. Any biting or clenching habits are observed.
An oral cancer check is always done at the periodontal evaluation. Lastly, dental radiographs are taken to check the bone levels around the teeth. The lower the bone level, the more damage from periodontal disease.
At the end of the periodontal evaluation a treatment plan is formulated and reviewed with the patient. Oral hygiene instructions are also given. Any questions the patient may have are answered as well. In general, the earlier the disease is caught, the better the long term prognosis for the involved teeth or dentition.