Healthy teeth require healthy gums. In order to make sure your gums are healthy, a gingival exam is given to determine the presence or risk of gum (periodontal) disease. During your exam, a hand-held instrument is gently placed between your gums and teeth (sulcus) to measure the depth of each pocket, as well as the current position of the tissue, any bleeding sites, and other factors that assess the health of the gingival tissue.
Each one of your teeth sits inside a gingival pocket of gum tissue. Food debris and plaque naturally collect inside this pocket and if not removed daily, harmful bacteria can penetrate the gingival tissue, cause the tissue to bleed, and deepen the pocket. As the depth of a gingival pocket increases, so does the risk of tooth damage, infection that leads to gum disease, and eventual tooth loss.
Daily tooth brushing and flossing is important to remove food debris and plaque from the gingival pocket. In its earliest stage, gum disease (gingivitis) may be reversible, so it's important to have this done at your checkup at least once a year. Since periodontal disease rarely has symptoms of pain, it is possible to have gum disease and not know it. This is why Wanlass Dental provides this very important part of your exam during your cleaning.