Diagnosis

Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination.  This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.

A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums.  The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed.  The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters.  As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper.

Your dentist or hygienist 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.

Periodontitis

Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar).  As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth.  Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus.  The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily.  Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.

Advanced Periodontitis

The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed.  Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost.  Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.

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Testimonials

"The dentists at this family owned practice are excellent! They explain each step, warn you ahead of time if any pain or discomfort will result in the procedure, and are gentle, patient, and respectful. My child actually loves visiting the dentist! The hygienists, and front office staff are also very kind and wonderful people. I've been going to this practice since Dr. Kevin Calvert's father had the practice; now Dr. Kevin's son-in-law, Chris Walton, is in practice with him, and has the same kind and patient personality. I have recommended this practice to many people, and will not hesitate to do so in the future."

DL, San Jose

"I could not say more great things about this dental office! I have been going to them my whole life, and I am pretty much the only person I know that absolutely loves going to the dentist. Every person here is amazing!! Dr. Calvert has been taking care of my teeth since the beginning. Dr. Chris Walton is now working here as well! He is so gentle and patient!! WONDERFUL! I have recommended so many people to this dental office and they couldn't be more grateful! My fiance is quite excited to start going to Dr. Calvert and Dr. Walton. Thank you for keeping my teeth healthy!! The office is impeccably clean. Very comfortable atmosphere. EXTREMELY kid-friendly office. They are very accommodating to those uncomfortable with dentists. Couldn't imagine a better group of people working on my teeth!!"

BW, San Jose

"nice, patient, and knowledgeable, so calm and serene! 5 Stars for Dr. Calvert"

JV, San Jose

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