We Don't Accept Medicaid Insurance.

The Importance of the Periodontal Depth Test

The Importance of the Periodontal Depth Test

The Importance of the Periodontal Depth Test

When it comes to dental terminology, the periodontal depth test is one of the most important terms that you have likely never heard about. Along with being relatively unknown, outside of the dental profession, it is also one of the most useful and important tests, one that is performed by dentists and periodontists all over the world.

So, what is a periodontal depth test and why might I need one? This is a common question that is often asked, though practically all of us have one each time we visit for a dental check-up.

Periodontal Depth Test Explained

When the dentist or hygienist examines our teeth and starts calling out a series of numbers, chances are that you are in the middle of a periodontal depth test. These seemingly random numbers correspond with the number of millimeters between the gum-line and where the gum attaches to the tooth.

The top of the gum itself doesn’t attach to the tooth, rather there is a pouch called the gum pocket, at the bottom of which the teeth connect with the gum tissue. The size of the pockets represent what is measured in a periodontal depth test. A periodontal probe is used to quickly and painlessly measure the different depths of each tooth’s pocket, which are then recorded and stored in the patient file.

Effectiveness Of A Periodontal Depth Test

The test itself is relatively simple in application, though is a particularly effective way of assessing if your teeth and gums are in good health. By measuring the depth each time you visit the dentist, and comparing this to your previous results, it helps to highlight the early signs of gum disease, in addition to other complications that might develop.

Generally speaking, a gum pocket depth between 1 to 3 mm is a good sign of oral health, whereas 4 mm and higher indicates that there could be a problem. While it is a useful initial indicator, a deeper pocket could also be the sign of temporarily swollen gums, or excessive gum tissue, along with misaligned teeth, or bone loss.

Your Next Dental Visit

Therefore, the next time you visit your dentist and they start to call out a range of numbers while examining your teeth, you’ll know that you are in the middle of the all-important periodontal depth test.


Be good to your gums all year, and you just might keep your nice smile for a long, long time. We can help, but only if you make regular visits to our San Ramon, CA dentist office.

Preventing gum disease should include dental cleanings and exams. To schedule your next one, call (925) 860-7071 or contact us online.


We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To Schedule An Appointment with Dr. Kaeley contact our San Ramon, CA, dental office today by calling (925) 860-7071. Our office at 9301 Fircrest Lane Suite 5 San Ramon, CA 94583 welcomes new patients in and around San Ramon, CA, including Dublin, Pleasanton, Danville, Blackhawk, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Castro Valley, Pleasant Hill and the surrounding Contra Costa County communities.

Like this article? Be sure to share this with your family and friends through Facebook and Twitter!

Dr Kaeley

Dr. Janice Kaeley, a periodontist, is committed to providing the highest level of care with compassion and understanding for every patient. Dr. Kaeley is delighted to provide the most current periodontal procedures to the community of San Ramon. From the moment you meet her, Dr. Kaeley’s passion for dentistry is evident. She takes the time necessary to educate her patients and help each patient find the right path of treatment for them based on all relevant clinical findings.

9301 Fircrest Lane,

San Ramon, CA 94583

(925) 860-7071

Call Us Today!

Opening Hours

Mon - Thur: 7am-4pm



Schedule A Consultation