Dr. Suway and his associates use a periodontal probe (small dental instrument) during your periodontal examination. It is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets get deeper.
The doctors use pocket depth measurements, an assessment of the amount of bleeding and inflammation, tooth mobility, and x-rays evaluation of bone loss to make a diagnosis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Dental plaque and its toxins irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed. There is no bone loss with gingivitis but pockets may be deeper than three millimeters due to swollen gums.
Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss and pocket formation between the tooth and gums. It may involve one, many, or all of the teeth. Slight to moderate periodontitis is characterized by pockets between four and six millimeters. Advanced periodontitis will have pockets seven millimeters or deeper. There are also aggressive, acute, and forms of disease that can be seen as manifestations of other systemic diseases.
Gum recession that leaves too little protective gum tissue to maintain the health of the tooth is termed inadequate attached gingiva.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Treatments may include deep periodontal cleanings below the gum tissue, antibiotic therapies, surgical treatments to eliminate the pockets that harbor bacteria, bone and soft tissue grafting to replace previously destroyed bone and gum tissue, gum tissue recontouring for esthetics, and dental implants to replace missing teeth. When a diagnosis has been made, Dr. Suway and his associates will recommend the most conservative treatment that is appropriate.
Jenkintown Periodontics & Dental Implants, LLC
Dr. Neal B. Suway & Associates
Dental Implants, Cosmetic and Laser Periodontics
261 Old York Road Suite 319
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Phone: (215) 887-6060
Convenient to Philadelphia, Abington, Willow Grove, Elkins Park, Cheltenham, Horsham, Warminster, and Hatboro