Image Of Woman Looking For A Direcctions For Healthy Teeth And Gums

Looking For A Road Map To Healthy Teeth and Gums?
image courtesy of Craig Sommer DDS at

Not Everyone Is Willing To Go The Distance.

Now if you are reading this article, you are probably beginning to take a careful look at your teeth and gums. You may have noticed that you have a nice smile but something is bothering you. You’re wondering. Is there something wrong with  my teeth and gums. Again, this article is not a replacement for a conversation with your dentist. It’s meant to give you some criteria, a way to talk with your dentist about your current situation.

Image of Plastic Model Of Teeth And Dental Numbering System

Image Of Teeth  With Dental Numbering System
Courtesy of Craig Sommer DDS at

Simple Chart Could Help You Keep Track Of Details

You may want to draw out a simple chart. You could use the diagram above to help you with numbering the different teeth in your mouth. I know you can’t see all of them but do your best. A small dental mirror and flashlight kit would be great. Start out with the bare basics and count and how many teeth you have.

The chart could include the tooth number so that you have a way of comparing from one day to the next how things are doing. Then for each tooth you could write down a number that would correspond roughly to the health of that tooth visually.

Assign a number for each category and Total Your Daily Numbers.

Image of dental data recording chart

Image of dental data recording chart courtesy of Craig Sommer DDS

Look at the color of the gum tissue right next to the tooth. And then you would assign it a number. Say the gum tissue next to the tooth was nice and pink. Assign that tooth a zero, which would mean things are looking pretty good. If you see that the gum tissue next to that tooth is red or purple and badly swollen, you could assign it an 18. Follow the guide below. I know this is very subjective, but the more honest you are with yourself the better you can see progress over the next 30 days.

Color Of Gums Right Next To The Tooth

•       Pink


•       Mostly Pink


•       Mostly Red


•       Red


•       Red and Some Swelling


•       Red and Swollen


•       Red/Purple and Swollen


Let’s take a look at the amount of plaque on teeth next. After you’ve used disclosing solution or a disclosing tablet, assign a number for each tooth you can see and rate how much plaque is present.

Let’s start with zero, if there’s no plaque visible on the tooth in question. Assign the tooth a four if you had about 2 mm of plaque at the gum line, an eight if there is 3 mm of plaque at the gum line. Follow the guide below. If the entire tooth is covered with plaque, assign 16 to the tooth. Now that you can see where the plaque is accumulating, do some tooth brushing and see how easy it is to removed the colored plaque.

Plaque On Teeth [Best Using Disclosing Solutions]

•       None visible


•       Visible 1 mm wide at gums


•       Visible 2 mm wide at gums


•       Visible 3 mm wide at gums


•       Visible 4+mm wide at gums


•       Visible over entire tooth


Gums that are not real healthy will often have places that bleed easily when you floss your teeth or brush them. Sometimes, even in a healthy mouth, brushing or flossing incorrectly can lead to bleeding. So technique does matter, and this is where your dentist, or dental hygienist can be most helpful, guiding your efforts and helping you improve your home care.

 Visible Bleeding Spots After Brushing Or Flossing

Count the number of teeth that show any blood adjacent to them after you have brushed or flossed. Mark a 1 in the column for bleeding, for every tooth that has visible gum bleeding. Then, add up the numbers and get your total for the day.

I know you’re thinking this is way too much work. But this is the kind of data gathering that occurs every time you visit your dentist. Sometimes it is mentioned audibly as the dentist and his assistant or hygienist, are gathering the data. Other times you may not even be aware the dentist or hygienist are making notes for your records.

Image of dental data recording chart

Dental data recording chart
Courtesy of Craig Sommer DDS at

Use a copy of this chart for recording all of your information each day. That’s how you can track your progress.

If you can stick with this every day, keeping track of details, for the next 30 days you will see some amazing improvement in your gum health. And if you are doing the work to make your gums healthier, you are making conditions better for your teeth as well. That means you will be reducing your chances for new cavities.  Good job!

So stick with it, don’t give up, and you’ll be rewarded with visual improvement in as little as 30 days. Next, we will take a look at brushing and how amazingly effective you can be, in our next installment.