Have You Ever Felt Us Poke Your Teeth During an Exam?
Posted on 9/7/2020 by Dr. Frank K. Sioda
When it comes to treating our patients, our team has a good reason for everything that we do. Fluoride treatments fortify the patients' teeth. Taking molds of a patient's teeth help create custom dental gear. And when our team pokes a patient's teeth and gums, that, too serves a purpose. Though it may seem unusual or pointless, poking the teeth and gums – known as periodontal charting - is a vital part of the exam that could detect and prevent oral problems in the future.
Poking with a Purpose
When our team pokes at a patient's teeth and gums, we are assessing the health of the teeth and the gums. There is a natural gap between a tooth and the gumline. The gap is considered healthy when it is 3 millimeters or less in depth. When the gap is 4 or more millimeters in depth, the gap is known as a gum pocket. Harmful bacteria can accumulate in gum pockets because traditional oral hygiene – brushing twice a day and flossing daily – cannot reach beyond 3 millimeters. Gum pockets are also an indicator for periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease.
When our team announces the numbers 1, 2, or 3 after a poke, that is good news for the patient. However, it is a sign of oral health complications when our team announces 4, 5, or 6 after a poke. When our team calls out a 7, it means that the periodontitis has advanced to a phase that requires surgery to properly address. If the gums bleed during any part of the test, that is a strong indicator of gingivitis (for the lower numbers) or periodontitis (for the larger numbers). If you suspect that there is a problem with your gums or your teeth, contact our office immediately so we can schedule an examination.
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Frank Sioda 18676 Williamette Dr. Suite 202 West Linn, OR 97068-1718