The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
- Dental exam—Your dentist will perform a careful survey of the appearance of your gums, check each tooth for looseness, and use a probe to identify and measure any spaces, known as pockets, between your gums and teeth. If you have periodontal disease, these pockets will measure more than 3 mm in depth.
—This type of x-ray may reveal whether or not the bones that support your teeth show signs of deterioration.
Evidence of bone loss around teeth is one of the signs of more advanced periodontal disease.
According to the American Dental Association, you should have a regular dental checkup every six months. Screening for periodontal disease should be part of every regular dental examination.
American Dental Association. Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at:
http://www.ada.org/. Updated March 2005. Accessed July 25, 2010.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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