• Main Page • Risk Factors • Symptoms • Diagnosis • Treatment • Screening • Reducing Your Risk • Talking to Your Doctor • Resource Guide
Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease
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.
Because early symptoms of gingivitis can be difficult to detect, you should have a regular dental checkup every six months.
Disease, gum (periodontal disease). American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/3063.aspx . Accessed July 27, 2011.
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm . Accessed July 27, 2011.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.n... . Updated March 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org