When going to the dentist, the dental hygienist will use an instrument called a probe to measure the area around your teeth to see if you have any pocketing (area between the tooth and gum where bacteria will form). The depth of the gum tissue between the teeth and gums is an indication of periodontal health. 1-3mm is a sign of periodontal health, 4mm indicates gingivitis, and 5mm or more indicates active periodontal disease. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that every adult receive a periodontal evaluation each year to determine whether additional treatment is needed. The presence of deeper pockets and or tarter indicates that you may need scaling and root planing. This procedure removes diseased gum tissue and bacteria from someone with active periodontal disease. After healing, the gum tissue is re-evaluated and a cleaning schedule is determined. Periodontal disease is very prevalent and the damage from this disease is difficult to repair. But with proper oral hygiene and advanced therapy at our office we can stop the progression of gum disease and prevent it in the future.