As a routine part of your regular check up from your dentist, they will assess your gums using a blunt probe to feel for tartar under the gum and also for any separation of the seal between the gums and the teeth. This separation is sometimes called pocketing when we start to notice bone being destroyed around teeth from gum disease. Eventually teeth may become loose and fall out if this is not treated by your dentist.
The dentist will call out numbers to be recorded by the nurse, as a record of your gum health and previous damage. Depending on what the numbers are, different levels of treatment will be required for your gums. Smoking is especially bad for gums and makes the treating of gum disease even more important.