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Why Do We Poke at Your Gums During Exams?
Posted on 9/21/2020 by Dr. Yokoyama
Why Do We Poke at Your Gums During Exams?If you have ever had anybody poke you, you might poke them back or say, “Hey! Cut that out!” However, you are not in the position to do this during a periodontal exam. During the process, we may poke at your gums with a metal instrument when we examine them. The following information will give you more insight as to why we do this.

What Is Periodontal Charting?

The metal instrument we use to poke at the gums is actually called a periodontal probe. We use this tool to measure your gum pockets, or the distance between the gums and teeth. The pocket size indicates the health of your gums and bone. This process, known as periodontal charting, helps us assess your periodontal health when we are screening for periodontitis or gum disease. During this procedure, we often have a team member record the results of the pocket depths.

What Do the Pocket Depths or Measurements Mean?

The numbers we get while charting the pocket depths are recorded in millimeters. Tighter and small pockets are good while larger pockets indicate poor gum health. For instance, if the pockets measure 0 to 3mm deep and you are not experiencing bleeding, your gums are in good shape. If the pocket depth is between 1 to 3mm and you have some bleeding, it is an early sign of gum disease. If the pockets measure 3 to 5mm without bleeding, gum disease may be possible. We'll usually schedule a follow-up visit. Gum pockets that are between 3 and 5mm with bleeding may mean the start of gingivitis. As you can see, the larger the pockets, the more progressive the disease.

We can gain a good deal of insight about your gum health through periodontal charting. While poking your gums with a metal instrument may be a little annoying, it will help us assess your gum health so we can provide you with the best in periodontal care. If you have not had your gums charted before, now is the time to do so. To preserve and maintain your smile, we encourage you to make an appointment with our office today. Give us a call for a periodontal screening now.
Michael Yokoyama, D.D.S in Encinitas, CA
Michael Yokoyama, D.D.S
Dr. Yokoyama
477 North El Camino Real #C-306
Encinitas, CA 92024

Phone: 760-632-9055

Monday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm