Probing is measurements that are taken of your teeth by your hygienist at least a minimum 1 time a year. It used to measure the pocket depth between your gum and your tooth. We use this measurement to determine how healthy your gums and bone are surrounding each individual tooth. We also use it as a guideline to compare to, each time it is completed.
The hygienist measures the numbers with a tool called a probe, it’s like a mini ruler for your teeth. Each number is measured in millimetres.
What do the numbers mean?
The lower the number means you have a smaller pocket depth between the tooth and gum indicating a sign of healthy bone and gum. Numbers between 1-3mm indicates a healthy attachment of gum tissue surrounding the tooth. A number between 3-5mm indicates a sign of disease and early stage of periodontitis. A number of 5-7mm indicates moderate periodontal disease and bone loss. A number of 7 and up means advanced periodontal disease if severe enough it can lead to tooth loss. When caught early it is preventable and treatable. Bushing 2 times daily for 2 minutes and flossing at least one time per day, as well as maintaining regular dental hygiene visits and checkup can prevent periodontal disease. To treat periodontal disease hygienist may have you come more frequently for root scaling or dental laser therapy.
For more information on your probing numbers talk to your Dental Hygienists so they can review your numbers with you, that way you are aware of what areas may need more attention when cleaning.