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Periodontal Disease Diagnosis

Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist during a periodontal examination. The clinical team, including the dentist, assistant, and dental hygienist, are involved in collecting the information and synthesizing it into a proper diagnosis. Having an appropriate gum disease diagnosis in Littleton or Aurora, Colorado with the Periodontal Associates team is crucial in determining the types of therapies that are needed and understanding the risk of disease progression.

A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus or “pocket” depth between the tooth and the gums. You may have heard your dentist calling off numbers (2, 3, 4, 3, 5 etc.) during your exam. These numbers relate to the depth of the pocket space and are measured in millimeters. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures 3 millimeters or less and does not bleed. As periodontal disease progresses, the supporting bone pockets get deeper due to advancing bone loss and the pocket depths increase as well. When gum disease progresses and there is greater inflammation, then the gums can bleed and be uncomfortable. Pocketing less than 3mm can be normally cleaned without discomfort, but when pocketing gets more than 5mm then the gums may need to be numbed to properly clean the teeth. For cases of severe gum disease, there are regenerative therapies that can re-grow the lost bone support around teeth.

When diagnosing gum disease, the Littleton and Aurora periodontists and hygienists at Periodontal Associates will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed. Gingivitis is an early or mild stage of the disease as there has not been supporting bone breakdown yet.
Periodontitis
Periodontitis involves the breakdown of the supporting structures around teeth and is thus a more severe type of gum disease than gingivitis.
Staging and Grading
In 2017, a new system of diagnosing was established and describes the staging and grading of the disease. The staging of the disease describes how much breakdown has already occurred. Staging takes into account bone loss as seen on the X-rays and probing measurements, how many teeth have been lost, any tipping of teeth, and chewing disfunction. Grading of the disease describes the unique risk that the patient has in regards to future disease. Grading takes into account the amount of disease present and relates it to the amount of bacterial plaque and calculus. Those that have considerable plaque and calculus and minimal supporting bone loss would be at a lower risk compared to patients with more bone loss and less plaque and calculus. Grading also takes into account systemic conditions like uncontrolled diabetes and habits like smoking that worsen the patients’ ability to combat gum disease. Periodontists have taken several more years beyond dental school to fully understanding the nuances of these factors and how they relate to the risk of disease progression. This is why many general dentists request our participation in guiding their patients through periodontal therapies. Effective diagnosing and treatment planning can maintain or enhance peoples smiles and chewing function, while also minimizing the number of procedures.

Diagnosis of Gum Disease in Aurora and Littleton

If you suspect you have gum disease, our experts can confirm or rule out a problem upon evaluation. To request an appointment with the periodontists at Periodontal Associates, please fill out the form on our website or call (303) 755-4500 today.

Your Dental Health Starts Here. Request an Appointment.

Or call — 303-755-4500

  • Melissa H.Melissa H.

    Let's be honest here - there is nothing fun about having gum surgery. However, the staff and Dr. Heller were as good as it gets with regard to my treatment....

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

  • Paul BeauchampPaul Beauchamp

    Dr. Dan Thousand and staff were amazing. Having gum grafting done is not a pleasant experience by any means, but I was very impressed with Dan Thousand and his staff through this whole process. Several things Dan Thousand and I discussed really resinated with me, such as how damaging smoking cigarettes is to the tissue inside my mouth, ect. Long story short, I took everything Dan Thousand said to heart and I was able to quit smoking as result of this surgery, and for me this is a very huge accomplishment. Dan and I actually celebrated 46 days of no smoking on my final follow up today. I was very pleased at the results of the surgery as I no longer have any negative areas of gum recession in my mouth. The day of the surgery was a very difficult day due to the pain, but it was very nice to receive a call from their office checking up on me to see how I was doing. The follow up phone call was very comforting. I would highly recommend Dr. Dan Thousand and his staff to anyone who ever needs to have gum grafting done. 😃

  • Sara KluhsmanSara Kluhsman

    Dr. Thousand is pure genius! He fixed a failing implant & placed a new 1 as well. I will never go anywhere else. That man preforms miracles!

  • Karen Pelling LevineKaren Pelling Levine

    Dr. Doug Heller is one of three of the doctors that make up the driving force in my efforts to save my teeth and my overall health. What started out as one broken tooth led to the possibility of my losing all of my teeth to gum disease. Panicked, I reached for a second opinion and found Dr. Heller, along with my regular Dentist & Orthodontist. I am now the proud owner of only 5 implants, as opposed to full upper and lower implants OR full dentures. Though dental procedures are hardly fun, Dr. Heller and his staff have made it a smooth process, from financial to face-changing....I couldn't be happier. 😁 You be the judge. My profile pic, there on the left, is a fine example of their handiwork.
    Double Bonus: Doorbell just rang. Beautiful plant has just arrived to cheer me in my recovery....Thank you, Dr. Heller and your wonderful Staff!

  • Jerome GilmerJerome Gilmer

    I was sent to Dr. Beckman on a referral from my dentist because of a slightly loose tooth. Dr. Beckman evaluated the situation and recommended a gum graft and bite adjustment. It is now six weeks since the procedure, and while the recovery was not painless, it was pretty much exactly as he said it would be. Upon evaluation earlier this week it was clear that the procedure was successful.

    Dr. Beckman and the staff were very nice, supportive and professional and I would highly recommend this practice to anyone needing this kind of help.

  • Tori Horton HamillTori Horton Hamill

    Dr Beckman performed a gum graft. I was nervous, but he explained everything clearly and thoroughly. The staff were very accommodating when I had to reschedule and they keep the schedule flowing on time so I was not sitting and waiting beyond the appointment time. The only downside was having to ask multiple times about the cost and what my calculated out of pocket would be. Would definitely recommend.

  • Ashley SingletaryAshley Singletary

    5 stars! Dr. Beckman and the entire office staff provide superior customer service and care. I recently had a gum graft performed and from the very first meeting I felt at ease. Dr. Beckman took his time explaining the procedure and patiently answered any questions I had. On the day of the procedure they go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable- they use top of the line medical treatment for an effective procedure and speedy recovery. The team was very supportive and available through the entire process and even calls to check on you post procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Beckman and his team!

  • Doris BinderDoris Binder

    I needed to get some implants and Dr. Heller was recommended. Thankfully, he was absolutely wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he explained everything that needed be done and the procedure began. Now it's not an over night process, but the weeks after each step was a piece of cake. I am so happy with my implants. I had to have a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and I don't know how he does it, but I had zero pain, no complications and I needed no pain Meds. The staff is so friendly and I highly recommend them.

  • Kenneth McCallKenneth McCall
  • Jan BernsteinJan Bernstein

    Dr. Beckman and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more professional. I highly recommend the practice to anyone in need of a periodontist.

  • Chelsy LaForceChelsy LaForce

    Dr. Heller and the rest of the team is absolutely amazing. They are super helpful through the entire process and I knew I was in great hands. Thank you so much!

  • Terry Lavitt SeiverTerry Lavitt Seiver
  • Aprille Tripler MooreAprille Tripler Moore

    Dr. Beckman and the entire staff at Periodontal Associates are amazing! Dr. Beckman performed a gum graft procedure on me and to my surprise and relief I felt no pain. Not during the procedure or post op. The entire experience from consult through my last follow up appointment was topnotch.

  • Terry SandahlTerry Sandahl

    I have been a patient of first Dr. Versman and then Dr. Heller for over 20 years. This is an amazing periodontal group! I feel so comfortable having them take care of my needs~and there have been many! Dr. Heller is so easy going and I never feel like whatever he does will fail. They have a great support staff too! All their assistants are competent and friendly, and my hygienist Michelle is the best! Love these guys and wouldn't think of going anywhere else!

  • Holly DeLuise BodineHolly DeLuise Bodine

    I have some complicated dental issues but Dr. Heller and his team have handled them very well, and as painlessly as is possible. Dr. Heller explains things very thoroughly!

  • Connie BuhlkeConnie Buhlke

    Not that I loved going to the Periodontist but if you have to, Dr. Heller and all of the staff in the office are simply the best! I wouldn't trust anyone else with my periodontal needs! Thank you for taking such great care of my mouth! You all are the best! �

  • David HeadDavid Head

    When I recently visited Dr Versman for a dental implant I was very pleased. I had been a client many years ago and remembered that Dr Versman' wonderful care. This time Dr Versman needed to place a new implant and extract one that had gone bad. His care and concern were exemplary. His staff was extremely efficient and all members in the office were always friendly and helpful. I would certainly recommend Dr Versman and his staff to anyone who needs an implant or Periodontal care. Thank you to everyone.

  • Christina StewartChristina Stewart

    I had a complicated tooth situation, with treatment options. My situation and all my options were explained in detail and all my questions answered. I had a debridement, and bone graft by Dr Beckman. He and the entire staff are welcoming, kind, compassionate and gentle. All my questions always answered and excellent communicational around. They called me the day of surgery and the day after to check on me. I am amazed, every single person here is wonderful and caring. And Dr Beckman is fantastic

  • Joan Schooler BaileyJoan Schooler Bailey

    Dr. Beckman did my third gum graph. I love the whole staff. They listen to me every time I have a question, and are very knowledgeable. I like their idea of listening to music on my cell phone while they do their magic. I recommend them all.

We Are Colorado’s Premier Provider of Dental Implants & Periodontics

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26 W Dry Creek Circle
#300

Littleton, CO 80120

Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat, Sun: Closed