Why do periodontal probing depths not change after dental scaling?

I had periodontal scaling done three months ago due to gum disease and went in for my periodontal maintenance appointment last week. The dental hygienist measured my pockets and I still had several areas where the probing depths did not change. What would be the reason for this?

Thanks, Joyce

Dear Joyce,

Probing depths should decrease over time ranging from 1 to 3mm in reduction after treatment, however not always the case. The clinical attachment loss that has occurred does not change once the disease is under control however you may gain some clinical attachment but it is usually minimal without surgery.

Let’s say for example you had an 8mm pocket before your treatment and after your dental scaling the pocket remained the same. Even if you have immaculate oral hygiene habits, flossing an 8mm pocket is almost impossible. Floss can usually reach a 4mm pocket but not greater, this is why it is vital to go in for your periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 or 4 months so your dental hygienist can maintain those deeper areas and clean them out to prevent further bone from dying around the tooth. By doing this those deeper area’s can see a reduction in tissue inflammation which overtime decreases your pocket measurement. Sometimes when pocket measurements don’t change it is an indicator that the pocket is not healing properly especially when bleeding upon probing occurs and may need more attention or possibly a sign that some type of periodontal surgery is recommended.

Do not get discouraged, maintain excellent oral hygiene habits, and see your dental hygienist for your cleanings as recommended. If you are not satisfied overtime with your measurements ask your dentist or dental hygienist what options are available for you to get the disease under control.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care

Two sets of wisdom teeth?


My dentist said I have two sets of wisdom teeth. I have never heard of this before. Is it possible to have a second pair of wisdom teeth?

Thanks, Marc

Dear Marc,

Yes, believe it or not some people have two and even three sets of wisdom teeth, however its rare. Usually when one has a second or third set of wisdom teeth these teeth are a lot smaller and are not fully developed, so in order to properly diagnosis this x-rays are needed. It is not a big deal to have more then one set however we would recommend having both sets of wisdom teeth extracted to prevent periodontal issues as well as overcrowding of the teeth

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care