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. If you do have periodontal disease, your dentist may need to refer you to a specialist in the treatment of gum disease, called a periodontist.
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Updated May 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease/. Updated December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/periodontal_diseases.asp. Updated March 2005. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Last reviewed April 2009 by ]]>Laura Morris-Olson, DMD]]>
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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