Periodontal disease is apparent during a regular dental examination. Your dentist will carefully assess the appearance of your gums and check each tooth for looseness. A probe will be used to identify and measure any spaces, known as pockets, which may have formed between your gums and teeth. In periodontal disease, these pockets will measure more than 3 millimeters (mm) in depth. Your dentist may also do a dental x-ray to look for deterioration in bones that support your teeth. Bone loss around teeth is one of the signs of more advanced periodontal disease.
Comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE). American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: https://www.perio.org/consumer/perio-evaluation.htm. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Gum (Periodontal) disease. NIH SeniorHealth website. Available at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/periodontaldisease/riskfactorsandprevention/01.html. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm. Updated September 2013. Accessed August 17. 2016.
Last reviewed September 2017 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 11/1/2017