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Gum Problems


Most people can prevent gum disease with good oral hygiene. Things you can do to improve your oral hygiene and prevent gum disease.

  • Brush your teeth regularly and effectively
  • Have a plan of when you will brush your teeth
  • Use an ordinary toothbrush or a rechargeable powered toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
  • Stop smoking - Stopping smoking reduces your chance of getting gum disease.
  • Clean between your teeth using floss or inter-dental brushes.
  • If you have diabetes, your dentist will recommend that you ensure it is well-controlled, as uncontrolled diabetes increases your risk of developing gum disease

We are now able to offer help to all patients here in Dunfermline,who wish to seek further advice and treatment for gum problems. Our colleague Dr S.Rao has a special interest in helping patients with gum disease and this service can run independent of their normal dental care centre. For more information please download the full leaflet, click here

Our Periodontal Team
Dr. S N Rao BDS, MFDS. RCS (Edin).
(GDC no 118104)
Dentist with special interest in Periodontics
Dr Rao is supported by our very experienced dental hygienist.



What do the numbers mean when my hygienist measures my gums?


                        “What do the numbers mean when my hygienist measures my gums?” Have you ever sat in your dental hygienist’s chair and wanted to ask this question?  We love to answer questions and help our patients grow to be experts in their own personal dental conditions and care


This process seems to be measurement of your gums but it is actually more than that.  One of the most common reasons for tooth loss is the loss of supporting bone around a tooth due to periodontal  or gum disease.  Actually, periodontal means “around the tooth” so it we are measuring disease activity around a tooth, This is important to evaluate and assess, so the tooth can be maintained in a state of health.  

 The special millimetre ‘ruler’, called a periodontal probe, is a tool to measure the vertical tissue attachment levels around each tooth.  From these measurements, which are taken at six points spaced around the tooth, the level of supporting bone can be calculated. 

You might then wonder why it would be important to know where the bone levels are around each tooth.  

 As the surrounding bone supports  a tooth, more bone generally means the tooth will be more stable with better long term functionality.  

 Numbers from 1-3 millimetres are considered a “normal’ depth.  Measurements greater than 3mm (4 and larger) are considered a pocket and the deeper the pocket the more problematic it is to maintain the area in a state of health.


Along with the probing number another factor is also recorded at the same time, called “bleeding on probing” or BOP for short.  This represents the current disease activity in that particular area and is mostly a sign of inflammation from bacterial infection. 

  Once the combination of pocket depth and BOP is charted, a specific treatment plan can be prescribed to control the problem so further bone and tissue loss can be minimized. 

It is important to have your bone levels checked at annually by the hygienist.  At our surgery, the dentist also checks your gums using a different screening scale, so that between us we can find any problem areas as soon as possible.If you are wondering about your periodontal dental health, please ask us when you are in the surgery