Proper dental care recommends that you see your dental hygienist every six months for checkup and cleaning.
During the checkup, the dental hygienist will not only clean your teeth but will also inspect for gum disease. This is done with a probe that has markings inscribed onto the head of the instrument for accuracy and readability of your gums. By measuring the gums, they are able to determine if there is any gum disease.
The first marking visible above the pocket indicates the measurement of the pocket depth. It has been found that the average, healthy pocket depth is around 3 mm with no bleeding upon probing. Depths greater than 3 mm can be associated with “attachment loss” of the tooth to the surrounding alveolar bone, which is a characteristic found in periodontitis. Pocket depths greater than 3 mm can also be a sign of gingival hyperplasia.