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What does the gap between gum and teeth indicate?

Friday, 09 March 2007
Answered by: Dr. Mahesh Verma
Professor and Head, Department of Dental Surgery,
Maulana Azad Medical College,
New Delhi
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Q. When the dentist measures between the teeth and gums, what do the numbers represent? What are the normal figures? A dentist told me that number 3 is OK and another said it is bad. What is right?

A.  There is little gap between gums and teeth and we call it gingival sulcus. It is usually 1-2 mm deep. In case of gum diseases this depth deepens and we call it pocket. The severity of gum disease can be indirectly measured from the depth of the pockets all around teeth. It is quite normal to increase slight depth due to age etc. But when it increases inordinately then gum treatment is required to arrest it. For your age 3 mm pocket is OK provided you maintain it and do not let it increase further through exquisite oral hygiene measures and professional help.

A.  There is little gap between gums and teeth and we call it gingival sulcus. It is usually 1-2 mm deep. In case of gum diseases this depth deepens and we call it pocket. The severity of gum disease can be indirectly measured from the depth of the pockets all around teeth. It is quite normal to increase slight depth due to age etc. But when it increases inordinately then gum treatment is required to arrest it. For your age 3 mm pocket is OK provided you maintain it and do not let it increase further through exquisite oral hygiene measures and professional help.

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