What do the numbers dentists use mean?

Asked By: Kerena Quagliarotti | Last Updated: 26th March, 2020
Category: medical health dental health
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Dentists measure this distance in millimeters. As a patient, you want to hear a smaller number. That means that you have a smaller gap between the tooth and gum, a sign of a healthy mouth. A larger number indicates that you have gum issues such as plaque and tartar buildup.

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Similarly, you may ask, what do the numbers at the dentist mean?

The numbers that you hear are the depths of the pockets around your teeth in millimeters. Smaller, tighter pockets usually mean healthier gums.

Also, what does a gum score of 2 mean? As you may be aware we score your gums between 0 and 4. A score of 1 means that you have some plaque or bleeding from the edges of your gums. Score 2. 2 means there is some hardened dead plaque attached to your teeth, which some gentle cleaning and a little oral health education can help with.

Similarly, why do dentists poke your gums?

Once a year your Registered Dental Hygienist pokes around your teeth to check your gum health. They don't do this to be mean but to identify periodontal infection in the earlier stages. This is done with a measurement device called a periodontal probe. When your gums are healthy these measurements should not hurt.

What does it mean when dentist says 0?

0 means the gums are perfect keep up the good work! 1 means the gums bleed but no pockets, calculus or plaque retention factors are present and you only need to improve your removal of plaque in the areas your dentist shows you.

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What happens if the dentist hits a nerve?

Nerve Injuries following Dental work claims
Lingual nerve damage causes numbness, tingling and/or pain with a burning sensation in the mouth. Inferior alveolar damage causes numbness, tingling and/or pain with a burning sensation in the chin, lower lip or the jaw.

What tooth is number 2?

The upper left teeth begin with the number, "2". The lower left teeth begin with the number, "3". The lower right teeth begin with the number, "4". For primary teeth, the sequence of numbers goes 5, 6, 7, and 8 for the teeth in the upper right, upper left, lower left, and lower right respectively.

Why are my teeth rotting?

Major causes of tooth decay are sugary, sticky foods and beverages. The more sugar consumed, the more acid, which gets produced leading to decay. Sugar combines with plaque to weaken the enamel leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay.

What tooth is number 31?

Number 17 is the tooth farthest back on the left side of your mouth on the bottom. Numbering continues again toward the front and across to the tooth farthest back on the bottom right side of you mouth number 32.

What does it mean when a dentist says to watch a tooth?


If you have ever been to the dentist and they say to "watch" or "put a watch on" a tooth, this indicates that the cavity can be reversed. But not all cavities are created equal! Some cavities are too far gone to be able to reverse them. In fact, reversing cavities can only occur in the beginning phases of development.

Can gums grow back?

The simple answer is, no. If your gums are damaged by, for example periodontitis, the most severe form of gum disease, it's not possible for receding gums to grow back. However, even though receding gums can't be reversed there are treatments that can help to stop the problem from getting worse.

Why do they scrape your teeth at the dentist?

With the small mirror to guide them, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You'll hear scraping, but this is normal. Brushing and flossing stops plaque from building up and hardening into tartar.

Can a gum pocket heal?

If the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, surgery may be necessary to help prevent tooth loss. When periodontal pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, surgery may be needed to better remove inflamed tissues and reduce the damage to the bone that has formed around the teeth.

What do the numbers mean when a dentist checks your teeth?

Numbering Your Gums
Each of your teeth will receive a number for its gum gap. Dentists measure this distance in millimeters. As a patient, you want to hear a smaller number. That means that you have a smaller gap between the tooth and gum, a sign of a healthy mouth.

How do dentists check your gums?


At a dental visit, a dentist or dental hygienist will: Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation. Use a tiny ruler called a “probe” to check for and measure any pockets around the teeth. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters.

Is it bad to pick at your gums?

It can damage your gums.
You will end up picking your gums as you try to get the debris out of your teeth. This can be very painful and lead to bleeding. If you do this too hard, you can actually get cuts on your gums which can lead to infections inside of your mouth.

Why do I like pain in my gums?

Sore Gums Causes. Brushing too hard, improper flossing techniques, infection, or gum disease can cause sore and sensitive gums. If you notice sore or sensitive gums, always consult your dentist or doctor. Sore gums or gums that are swollen or bleeding are most often linked to gum disease.

What is the first sign of gum disease?

The symptoms of gum disease include: Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing. Red, swollen, or tender gums. Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.

Can gum pockets be reversed?

There is no bone loss with gingivitis — and fortunately, this common form of gum disease can almost always be reversed with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings. In a case of periodontitis, pockets allow infection to spread, resulting in bone loss underneath the gums.

How do dentists measure gums?


Measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth by placing a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gumline, usually at several sites throughout your mouth. In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters (mm). Pockets deeper than 4 mm may indicate periodontitis.

How do you shrink gum pockets?

Brushing, flossing with dental floss, and rinsing are limited to how deep they can reach into a pocket. To improve periodontal pocket cleaning and reduce pocket depth, use a Waterpik® Water Flosser with the Pik PocketTM Tip.

Does gum probing hurt?

Periodontal probing should not be an unpleasant experience for your patient unless the tissue is inflamed or your technique is heavy-handed. If the tissue is inflamed and sore, using a small amount of topical anesthetic in the sulcus will help to alleviate discomfort.