Periodontal Disease – Diagnosis

Periodic examinations during your regularly scheduled office visits will include an examination of the gums and mouth tissue to check for disease or abnormalities. The oral hygienist or dentist will ensure that you are checked for periodontal disease as well as anything out of the ordinary.

A probe known as a periodontal dental instrument is used to measure the spacing between your teeth. We call the pocket or space sulcus. A gap of three millimeters or less is optimal, along with the absence of bleeding. If bleeding, gaps larger than what is optimal, periodontal disease may be interacting with your oral hygiene regimen. These gaps will progressively get larger, in relation to the extent of periodontal disease progression.

We will measure the depth and spaces, the amount of bleeding and any inflammation along with the mobility of your teeth to diagnose the problem in one of several levels or categories.

  • Gingivitis — This is the early stage we spoke of when describing the disease. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria and plaque irritating your tissue causing them to become inflamed and introduce bleeding of the gums.
  • Periodontitis — One plaque has hardened to calculus and builds up, your gums will recede, creating gaps and pockets. As the pockets or gaps become deeper and bacteria and pus develops, your gums and oral tissue will become irritated to a much higher degree, allowing your gums to bleed quite easily. Your jawbone has already experienced some degree of bone loss at this stage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis — Support for your teeth is minimalized causing your teeth to feel loose and the periodontal ligaments binding them to your jawbone are being destroyed. Eventually your teeth will become very loose and begin to fall out, unless that is, if you seek treatment. At this advanced stage, your bone loss is significant.


Dr. Joel Moskowitz, DMD
The Dental Center
28 Bowling Green Parkway
Suite 6
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

tel: (973) 663-4220
fax: (973) 663-6136



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