A periodontal exam is an essential part of a regular dental checkup routine. The periodontal exam is performed by the dentist or the dental hygienist. In periodontal exams, the dentist uses a periodontal probe which is used to measure the space between teeth and gums. This space is referred to as the sulcus. In measuring a healthy sulcus, the general depth is three millimeters.
One of the main signs of Gingivitis is bleeding gums. In measuring the sulcus, if the gum bleeds, it is likely that you are developing gum disease. As the disease progresses, the sulcus generally becomes deeper. There can be serious repercussions if the periodontal disease progresses too far. Therefore, it is important to see your dentist once symptoms of gum disease emerge.