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How do dentists detect gum infections? A guide to periodontal disease from Kings Dental

Updated: Jan 23

When you attend a dental check-up, you may be curious as to why your dentist is poking at your gums.

It seems odd to an everyday person, but in actuality, they are checking for firmness, sponginess and whether the gums bleed when touched. Put simply, they are looking and checking for signs of gum disease.

Commonly caused by poor hygiene, gum disease can cause serious issues with your dental health. Aside from causing your gums to bleed when brushing, periodontal disease has also been linked to foul smelling breath, loose teeth and tooth loss. If you have diabetes or are undergoing a hormonal change, you may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease. It is important to attend your check-ups, especially if you discover you are pregnant.

At Kings Dental in Subiaco, our team of dentists and hygienists are proud of the treatment options we can offer patients who are experiencing the early signs of gum disease. If you have a more advanced case, we will be able to treat this too, but it may be a bit more of an extensive process. Dedicated to your health and hygiene, our dentists will stop at nothing to get you the smile you deserve. Brilliant!

But what exactly does our dentist at King Dental in Subiaco look for when checking for gum disease?


One of the first tell-tale signs of gum diseases like gingivitis is bleeding gums, commonly occurring when you brush your teeth.

Our dentist at Kings Dental in Subiaco will test whether your gums bleed when they are brushed by gently scraping at the surface; if they bleed, we will start you on a course of bacteria-fighting mouthwash. If there is no bleeding, great stuff!


Swelling is a common occurrence with gum diseases like gingivitis.

This can be somewhat trickier to diagnose at home, as sometimes you may have brushed at your teeth too firmly, prompting them to swell. Our team will explore all abnormal swellings in your mouth and if your gum line is swollen with a dark red shade, this is a sign of periodontal disease.


A healthy gum should be firm with a little bit of give when pressure is applied.

If your gum is spongy to the touch, this is an indication of gum disease. We will refer you to our hygienist for a clean and will begin you on a course of medicated toothpaste and mouthwash to treat the disease.

Pocket depth

There should be no gaps between your gum and your teeth.

If there is, this is what is known as a pocket; depending on the space between your tooth and your gums and the depth of the pocket, our team will be able to assess the severity of the gum disease.

Alignment and movement

If your teeth are changing their alignment and moving, this indicates a more severe case of gum disease. This may require us to extract the affected teeth and treat the infection with a longer course of medication.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.


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