Why Is The Periodontal Depth Test Significant?
If you have ever been to the dentist, then you have probably undergone the periodontal depth test. The test requires the dentist, someone like Paul Dona DDS, to determine the depth of your gum pockets by using a pointed dental instrument to poke the area between the teeth and the gum (for each tooth). Here are some of the things you and the dentist may learn from the test:
Whether You Have Periodontal Disease
A healthy periodontal depth ranges from 2 to 3 mm (about an eighth of an inch); it varies from person to person. Anything deeper than that signifies unhealthy gums and very deeper pockets mean that you are dealing with periodontitis (periodontal disease). Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that has affected multiple tissues in the mouth including the soft gum tissues, the ligaments and in some cases even the jawbone. Periodontal disease can easily lead to tooth loss if not treated. The depth of your gum pockets will tell the dentist if you have the disease so that you can begin relevant treatment.
The Specific Areas Affected By Gum Disease
Periodontal depth test will not only tell the dentist whether you have gum disease, but it will also tell the dentist the specific areas affected. As previously mentioned, the dentist will probe the gum pockets around each tooth to determine their depths. The teeth corresponding to the deeper gum pockets are the ones affected, and their depths determine the extent of the disease. This knowledge will help the dentist understand which teeth should be targeted by the treatment.
How You Should Brush Your Teeth
The results of the periodontal tests aren't just for your dentist; they will also help you at home. The dentist will interpret the results for you and tell you which of your teeth are affected so that you can take better care of them at home. This is especially true if your teeth are only marginally deeper than normal. The dentist will show you how to clean your teeth and which dental hygiene instruments you need to reach the deeper pockets.
Whether Your Gum Disease Is Healing or Worsening
Lastly, successive periodontal dental depth tests will also help you understand whether your gum disease is worsening or improving. Say you have the test at the beginning of the year and again at the middle of the year; you will know your gum disease isn't getting any better if the second periodontal depth test reveals deeper gum pockets than the first test.