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Worried about dental visit and potential risk of periodontal disease



Junior member
Oct 26, 2022
Hi, I'm not sure what to say. But... I went to the dentist the other day.

(I had been waiting 3 years for an appointment because my dentist closed without notification and I had to find another dentist).

Unfortunately my teeth, specifically my gums weren't too healthy. The dentist said my X-rays were okay but my gums were inflammed. On the BPE, she mainly read 2's and a couple of 3's. She then said for me to use interdental brushes which I stocked up on the 0.45mm ones. She then said: "I'm sorry but this is going to hurt" regarding a scale and polish.

I accept that my teeth and gums aren't too great and it needs to be done. She described my gums as thin. But the next appointment is in two weeks time from the last and I have no idea as to why. No treatment plan or anything. They didn't explain anything to me and had me sign my treatment plan after the dental work was already done.

I fear that it could be periodontal disease and because of it, I've felt rather distressed following the appointment. I've not wanted to eat anything or drink anything besides water in fear I'd damage my teeth. (Although I did have soup because I need to eat in general life). But I just feel glum about my oral health. :(

I am unsure as to the extent of how bad my teeth are. If I have periodontal disease or if I am at the stage before it for it to be reversible. My next appointment worries me as I am unsure what they will do as nothing was explained to me. I haven't got a dental plan for my upcoming appointment.
2s and 3s are not bad at all. My periodontist doesn't worry about these. I have a deep clean when they reach 5 or 6. And yes I believe at your stage it is reversible, although I am not a dentist.
I have to say I am surprised your dentist said that it was going to hurt. I have my gums numbed when he uses the ultrasonic cleaner for routine cleaning.
@feelingbetter Thank you. That's calmed me down a little.

Yes, unfortunately she said that. She didn't numb anything although perhaps it wasn't a requirement for the procedure I had being scale and polish?

Hopefully my teeth aren't too bad. What confuses me is that they had me sign a treatment plan after they did the treatment. They've re-booked me for 2-weeks later and not told me why, what for, or provided me with a treatment plan for the upcoming visit.

But thank you. Hearing that has calmed me a little.
Glad to hear you feel a bit calmer. They don't normally numb for scale and polish I believe, it's just that from experience I find the ultrasonic device painful so I ask for numbing and I have an extremely empathetic dentist.
Re your treatment plan, I would call or email the practice to ask for clarification. It is your right to know. Good luck.
Hi guys, just a little clarification to avoid any confusion - there are two different numbering systems in use for gum charting: one of them is the BPE which @MysteryK mentioned, and the other one is the measurement in millimetres (which I think is the one that @feelingbetter's periodontist might be using?). There's some more info here:

The good news is that a BPE score of 3, while not ideal, can readily be treated with professional cleanings and good home care. There's no need to stay away from drinks or food. All that's needed to stop early gum disease is to clean thoroughly once every 24 hours (including in between teeth, hence the interdental brushes). There's some more info on this page:

Absolutely agree with @feelingbetter re the treatment plan - maybe they just forgot to give it to you? Please do email or ring them :) .
@letsconnect Thank you. I hadn't realised the difference between the scores and measurements. Though it makes sense looking at the resources. 3 is around 3.5 to 5.5mm I believe. Which is about 3 or 4 of my teeth. The rest are all a score of 2.

I am very relieved to hear that it is still at a chance to be reversible. I was deeply worried. Though I won't know the specific details until my next dental visit. It has given me some ease. Thank you. :)
Thank you too @letsconnect. I hadn't realised there were different measurements. Yes, I had mine in mm so we were on a different page there.
Guys, is a 5 really bad? I have a couple of those that have had deep cleans.
See the link above (https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/bpe-scores/)... 5mm means that "the probe goes a little further under the gum than it should. This is a sign of early gum disease. Don’t panic as this can readily be treated"

The key is thoroughly removing the biofilm (plaque) daily, using interdental brushes or a combination of interdental brushes and floss. Your hygienist and/or dentist should be able to show you how to go about this, and there are also some tips in the other link that was posted above: How to prevent and stop gum disease from getting worse
@MysteryK did you go to aspen dental? (Assuming you’re American) they did that to me. At that time I didn’t need a deep cleaning, my numbers were mostly 3s. I never went back, I heard they are a big scam and get bonuses for doing a lot of deep cleanings.
@honeybee91 Hi. Actually I'm British haha. I'm sorry for if they are a scam and have caused you issues. That shouldn't happen. My experience was with one dentist who said everything was perfect (but then privatised) to another dentist who said I was bordering periodontal disease. However, I think the change was good because sweet words don't hide the truth or help you to get better without actual action - least from my experience. So it's just best to look after our oral health as best as we can and to ask the dentist questions for if we have any concerns rather than leave without asking. :)