In order to diagnose a periodontal disease, the dentist or the dental hygienist will perform a periodontal examination. In this procedure, the professional will use a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe in measuring the spaces between the teeth and the gums. If these spaces are deeper than 3 millimeters and/or bleed, periodontal disease may be present.
Categories of Periodontal Disease
There are three categories with which a diagnosis from the dentist may fall. These are:
- Gingivitis – This is considered as the first stage of periodontal disease. The gums bleed due to the irritation caused by plaque and other toxins that come along with it.
- Periodontitis – In this category, the spaces are already deeper and may be filled with pus and bacteria resulting in inflamed and bleeding gums. There may also be slight to moderate bone loss.
- Advanced Periodontitis – Bone loss is already at a moderate to severe stage causing teeth to become loose and easily fall off.