Periodontal Charting: What Is It and Why Is It Important

Most people are not looking forward to having their gums poked during a dental checkup. But why does the dentist have to do this?

During the poking, the dentist looks for signs of swelling, redness, and bleeding. These are all signs that your gums may be infected. What they’re doing is called a periodontal charting.

What Is Periodontal Charting?

Periodontal charting is a process used by dentists to measure and record the health of a patient’s gums and teeth. It is an important tool to detect and monitor periodontal disease, a progressive form of gum disease that causes inflammation, bleeding, and eventual tooth loss if left untreated. 

Periodontal charting involves measurements of the gums and teeth, such as the size of pockets around the teeth and the amount of plaque and tartar buildup. The information collected is then recorded in a periodontal chart, which serves as a baseline for the dentist to monitor the patient’s oral health over time.

The purpose of periodontal charting is to provide dentists with a comprehensive picture of a patient’s oral health. This helps the dentist identify any areas of concern and to determine the best treatment for the patient. 

During the charting process, the dentist will measure the pocket depths around each tooth and the amount of plaque and tartar present. The dentist will also measure the amount of bleeding, inflammation, and recession of the gums. All of this information is then recorded in the periodontal chart.

Why Is Periodontal Charting Important?

Periodontal charting is an essential part of dental practice. It allows dentists to assess and monitor the gums’ health and supporting teeth’ structures over time. Periodontal charting is important in helping dentists determine the presence or absence of disease or other conditions that can affect the health of the gums.

When a patient visits a dentist, a periodontal chart is completed, which records the condition of the gums, including the level of attachment of the gums to the teeth, the presence of any pockets (spaces between the gum and the teeth), the presence of plaque and calculus, and the presence of any signs of inflammation such as redness, swelling, or bleeding. This information is then used to determine the patient’s periodontal health.

Periodontal charting is important for several reasons:

1. Identify the Presence of Periodontal Disease

It helps to identify the presence of periodontal disease in its early stages. Early identification of the disease allows for more effective treatment, which can help reduce the disease’s severity and prevent further damage.

2. Monitor the Progression of the Disease over Time

Periodontal charting is important in monitoring the progression of the disease over time. By tracking changes in the patient’s periodontal health, the dentist can determine if the treatment is effective and if any adjustments need to be made.

3. Identify Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease

Finally, periodontal charting is also important in helping to identify any risk factors for periodontal diseases, such as smoking or poor oral hygiene. By knowing the patient’s risk factors, the dentist can provide additional preventive care to help reduce the risk of developing the disease.


Periodontal charting is an important tool for dentists to ensure the long-term health of their patient’s teeth and gums. By regularly monitoring the patient’s oral health, dentists can provide personalized treatment plans to help prevent and treat periodontal disease. Regular periodontal charting allows patients to maintain the best possible oral health and reduce their risk of tooth loss due to periodontal disease.

Are you looking for dentists in Westborough, MA, to help you with periodontal disease treatment? Look no further than Family Dental of Westborough. Our office is open for dental care, cleanings, and routine maintenance, consistent with Massachusetts Phase 2 guidelines. Book an appointment today!

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