Q. I RECENTLY went to the dentist and he was saying numbers whilst prodding my gums. Why is that?
A. It sounds like you have had something that is known as ‘dental charting’ or ‘periodontal charting’. This type of check-up helps your dentist when it comes to evaluating your oral health as well as helping them to determine any treatment plans.
Essentially, they examine your mouth and gain important information about your teeth and gums from it. They will also make notes from it so that they have a full record of your dental health. During the process of charting, your dentist is measuring the gum tissue around each tooth.
Each tooth has six sides that need to be measured, which is why you may hear quite a few numbers between one and seven being called out. These numbers relate to how deep the pockets of your gums are in millimetres. If you hear numbers between one and three, it’s a sign that your gums are in good health. However, if you bleed during the process, your gums may be in the early stages of developing some serious problems.
If you hear numbers that are higher than three, it could be a sign of something worse. Which means you either have early stages of gum disease and you require a professional clean every few months. Or, it could mean that your gum disease is too advanced and needs surgery.
Gum disease is a serious issue which can lead to you losing teeth as well as increasing your risk of complications with your heart.