The severity of a gum disorder is diagnosed mainly through two methods. The basic purpose is to understand the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth.
Measuring Pocket Depth with an Instrument
As plaque builds up and the resulting acid eats into the teeth and gums, pockets of space appear between the two. The pocket depth is identified with the help of a metal probe, which is inserted below the gum line. A pocket depth in the range of 1-3 mm is considered normal. However, people with pocket depths of more than 4 mm may have periodontal disease. Other factors such as the level of the gum line, mobility of the teeth, decay, bite forces, existing restorative work and home care are examined to see how all the factors are affecting you.
Once the pocket depth has been identified and your dentist sees it as a problem, x-rays are performed to identify any kind of bone loss. Bone loss is generally a sign of an advanced stage of periodontitis.
After all diagnostic information is collected and all factors are considered, an individualized treatment plan will be presented to you based on your needs.