Periodontitis is a severe case of gum disease developed closely alongside gingivitis. Clinical procedures are in place to identify the level of gum disease each patient may have and are also used by specialists to advise on the necessary treatment plan.
Periodontitis can present itself in hideous ways – from bad breath to tooth loss – and can be particularly difficult to treat. That’s why it’s always best to treat it early. If you think or have concerns that you could be developing gum disease, a periodontal assessment could be what is required to fully investigate your circumstances.
A dentist may do some initial observations during a regular check-up for general dental maintenance and, if required, refer you to get a full periodontal assessment to diagnose the disease. This assessment can be done by your dentist, a specialist periodontist, or a dental hygienist.
During a full assessment, the dentist or specialist will be looking at various things. For example:
- The health of your teeth and gums, including gum pocket depth
- The level of plaque on the teeth and gums and observing the level of hard calculus
- The way you bite
- Internal bone structure
The dentist may vary the routine depending on your circumstance, but by the end of the assessment, you will have a clear diagnosis of whether or not you are be suffering from periodontal disease. Again, recommended treatments may vary, but it’s likely you will be referred for scaling or a full-mouth disinfection (depending on your level of gum disease).
It is also possible that the assessment may be slightly invasive, therefore a local-anaesthetic would be used to subdue any pain or discomfort. The result of an assessment could give you the correct recommendations for further dental care, so it is important not to avoid having the assessment done when it is advised.