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What is Periodontal Probing and Does It Hurt?

The phrase “periodontal probing” may sound scary on the surface, but it’s actually a completely normal activity that dentists perform every time they clean your teeth. In short, this function allows your dentist to understand the health status of your gums, what type of dental cleaning you’ll need, and if further steps need to be taken after the cleaning to ensure your gums are properly cared for.

When Does Periodontal Probing Occur?

A dental hygienist or your dentist will usually perform periodontal probing fairly early on in your dental visit. This is because they want to assess the health of your gums before they proceed with the cleaning. If your gums are healthy, you might just need a normal cleaning; however, if your dentist detects situations known as deep periodontal pockets, they’ll need to perform a deeper cleaning in order to ensure the bacteria and any trapped food and debris is removed properly.

What Are Periodontal Pockets?

Periodontal pockets are spaces that form between the gums and the teeth. Healthy gums usually have pockets that measure between 1 and 3 millimeters in depth. However, unhealthy gums can have much larger pockets, which can cause food to become trapped in this area, ultimately breeding bacteria that can lead to plaque, tartar, and gum disease.

When your dentist is performing periodontal probing, she’s measuring the depth of these pockets. This is when you’ll hear the dentist or hygienist call out a series of numbers like 2-3-2, 4-3-4, and so on. What you’re hearing is the measurement of depth of your periodontal pockets. When the number gets to four or greater, there is the possibility that you might have inflammation and eventually even experience tooth loss if the problem isn’t tended to immediately and correctly.

Does Periodontal Probing Hurt?

People who have healthy gums may not even feel a thing, and the process is over quite quickly. People who have unhealthy gums may feel a slight discomfort when the probe hits problematic areas, but it’s far from painful for most patients.

This process is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it can save you from enduring a lot of pain down the road, especially if you’re heading toward needing a root canal or other dental procedures.

Are you searching for a dentist in Montreal who can perform root canals so your tooth pain will go away? We’re so glad you’ve found Centre Dentaire! Schedule an appointment with our team today!