Two, two, two. Two, one, two. Two, two, two. You may have heard your dental hygienist call out numbers as she (or he) pokes and prods beside your pearly whites. What is she doing in there? She’s using a special ruler called a periodontal probe and it’s used to measure the pockets around your gums for a better understanding of your oral health.
Numbers 1-3 millimeters are considered normal depth. Measurements greater than 3 millimeters are considered a pocket. Deep pockets are an indication of periodontal disease.
Once your numbers are charted, a personalized treatment plan can be developed to control any problem areas so further bone and tissue loss can be minimized. Everyone knows there is nothing sexy about dentures in a jar by the bed.
Avoid tooth loss. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. According to the American Dental Association, the most important things you can do to avoid gum disease are:
- Brush twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to clean between teeth
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings
It’s important to have your teeth and gums examined and measured for awesomeness. If you have questions about periodontal disease, ask your dentist.