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Diagnosis

Periodontal disease is detected by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination.  This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.

A periodontal probe (small measurement instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (space) between the tooth and the gums.  The depth of a healthy sulcus generally measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed.  As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets frequently get deeper.

Sulcus/pocket depths, amount of bleeding, radiographic bone level, tooth mobility, etc., are used in assessing periodontal condition.

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