What do measurements have to do with my oral health?

The team at Smiles by Shields works to ensure our patients understand the process of a dental checkup and cleaning. But what are those numbers your hygienist calls out during an exam? They’re a way of measuring your oral health by measuring your gumline.

Gum health is measured by millimeters on a scale of 1 to about 9 with a calibrated dental instrument. The exposed space between the gum and the tooth or root is measured. The more space between the tooth and gum, the higher the number and the greater the likelihood of gum disease.

1-3 mm is considered healthy, 4mm is a warning, and anything over 5 is a call to action to prevent disease. When a 5 or 6 mm pocket is recorded, a deep cleaning may be recommended. The pockets develop as a result of bacteria buildup, so the presence of pockets indicates an abundance of the organisms that can lead to periodontal disease.

If you have questions about your gums and your oral health, contact your Jacksonville FL dentist today for an exam and a thorough analysis of your mouth’s condition. At Artistic Touch Dentistry, we work to keep you on track for positive oral health that lasts a lifetime!


Loyola University Health System. (2015, January 26). Flabby gums are worse than flabby abs, says dentist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 16, 2015 from


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3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217