Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination. This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.
A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper.
Your dentist or hygienist will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.
Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.
Meet the Doctors
Dr. French Moore III, DDS
Dr. Moore was born and raised in Abingdon, Virginia. He earned his B.S. in Biology from James Madison University and his D.D.S. from the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry in Richmond in 1982. Upon graduation, he married Laura, the love of his life, and moved to Germany to serve three years...read more
Dr. Stuart Lee Laningham, DDS
Dr. Laningham grew up in Lee County, Virginia on the farm that has been home to six generations of his family. Upon graduation from high school, he attended the College of William & Mary, then transferred to the University of Virginia, where he received his Bachelor’s in Biology and graduated with honors...read more