Why Are Gum Tissue Charts Important?
Periodontal charting is an important step in the detection of gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this condition affects almost half of adults older than 30. It causes inflammation of the gumline, and can lead to loss of the bone that surrounds the teeth. Gum disease can be painless, so it may go undetected without preventative dental care, but symptoms commonly include sensitive gums that bleed easily, especially when brushing or flossing. Gum recession is also another classic sign of gum disease.
The measurements of the gum tissue should be recorded at least once per year, and more often if problem areas are found, in an effort to identify periodontal disease early on. Many dental offices start periodontal charting once a patient has reached full dentition, or a complete set of adult teeth, according to Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. It can be done at a younger age if gum tissue is swollen or bleeding.
Your dental hygienist or dentist may record the gum depth numbers in several ways. Sometimes they are typed directly into a computer program. Other times, an assistant may type the numbers in for whoever is taking measurements. Voice recognition technology can also be utilized, during which you will hear your dental professional calling the numbers out loud. If any areas of concern are discovered, your dental professional will notify you where they are as part of the evaluation process. You may even be given a copy of your periodontal chart to take home.