If you hear numbers of 0 or 1, you're doing quite well. There is great information about the British Society of Periodontology to help you keep your gums in good shape. In most cases, gum disease is painless, so they go undetected without preventive dental care until they become aggravated. When a dentist says they are going to check your gums, this is what they are doing: a screening test for gum disease.
The dentist will run a probe around your gums and, depending on what you find, will assign a number from 0 to 4.While this is the progression that gum disease leads to, it is important to understand that all three can exist in different parts of a single mouth and that gingivitis often overlaps when periodontitis is present. Think of it this way, when you brush your teeth, you can only have the bristles of your brush clean just below the gum, for example, up to 2 mm. Your dentist will recommend many surgical and non-surgical treatment options if the gum measurements exceed 5 mm. Periodontal mapping is a practice in which the dentists use a periodontal probe to measure the distance between the gums and where they attach to the teeth.
This leads to periodontal disease, and then the gum condition can no longer be treated by anyone other than a dental professional. They can refer to this periodontal chart at future visits and compare the depth of the gum pockets to see improvements. By gently probing around the teeth (this may be a little sore or tender, especially if the gums are swollen), they will record the worst situation for each area using a special probe that has a black band to allow them to see if you have pockets (areas of loss of attachment) that they need to investigate further. If so, think back to when the dentist was pricking your gums with a small metal instrument while calling your dental assistant seemingly random numbers.
So the next time you come to surgery and hear those numbers you'll know what they mean, but remember that you want to make sure those numbers stay low, here are a couple of ways to make sure your gums stay healthy. A dentist score between 0 and 4 indicates zero is the best you can get, meaning your gums are in excellent condition, and four indicate gum disease. You may have the healthiest teeth in the world, but without proper support from your gums and bones, they will go to waste and possibly fall out. So, when you're lying in the chair and the dentist starts pricking your gums with a metal instrument and says a series of numbers, you might get confused about what numbers have to do with anything.