What is Periodontal Charting?

Why does the Hygienist call out numbers like 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, and 2 when you’re in for a checkup visit?  Does this mean something or do they not know how to count correctly?

Of course our hygienists know how to count correctly and yes, these numbers do mean something.  The numbers that we’re speaking coincide with periodontal numbers, a way to measure gum tissue health. Otherwise called Periodontal charting, this is a very important aspect in the health of the dental patient.

Periodontal charting essentially measures the where the tissue and the tooth attach. The reason for this is to determine how healthy the gum tissue is around the entire tooth.

A very healthy tooth is 2-3 mm which means that the bone is at a normal and safe level. This means you have good homecare habits and you can stick to your 6 month cleaning schedule with your hygienist.

 Areas that are deeper than 3mm means that you may be at risk for periodontal disease and your cleanings may require a little extra tlc. The periodontal charting is for dental hygienists to keep an accurate record of the depths of your pockets and the health of your gum tissue.

Example 1: Healthy Tissue attachment

Example 2: Periodontal Disease