In Baton Rouge we all love football. Whether you played it yourself, enjoy a good tailgate, or casually take in a game with the family, our level of expertise and excitement varies from person to person. One thing we’re all familiar with is the quarterback stepping up to the line, pointing at players and parts of the field in front of him, calling out the play. A series of numbers, letters, words, all in a particular cadence. On TV it can sound like incoherent ramblings, but everyone on the offense and sidelines knows exactly what it means. You may experience something similar when you are in the dentist chair as the doctor or hygienist calls out a variety of numbers. While one set of numbers being called out supports a strategy to score, the second supports a strategy for healthy gums.
Your dentist has a special tool to measure the space between your gum and each of your teeth. These numbers you may hear being recited during your check-up are the measurements of the pocket depth of each tooth. Any measurement between 1mm and 3mm is considered healthy. A 4mm gap can be a cause for alarm and anything larger than 5mm requires action to prevent disease.
As gums recede they can become inflamed and infected as they are much more susceptible to bacteria. Everything we eat and drink can leave behind potentially damaging bacteria and other things. The larger the gap between the tooth and gum provides more room for these particles to stay and get trapped. This is why we brush our teeth and floss, to remove these trapped particles. In fact 90% of tooth loss is a result of tooth disease and gum decay. With a regimen of brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, gum disease can be very preventable.
So the next time you are leaned back in that dental chair and you hear numbers being communicated back and forth, you’ll know what they mean. Hopefully they’ll be on the lower side of 4, but with regular hygiene and dental visits, problems can be avoided. If you’re looking for a relaxing, soothing place to enjoy a spa-like experience, while you receive the best dental care, click here.