Periodontal probing: Stop when you see red - DVM
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Periodontal probing: Stop when you see red
Gingival bleeding on probing indicates inflammation and requires treatment.


Client communication

It's helpful to share with your client how many bleeding on probing areas are present and where they are in the patient's mouth. Explain that the goal is to get the bleeding down to zero (so the client goes home with a number to work toward) and that if these areas are neglected, damage may progress.

In addition to daily plaque control and the use of VOHC-approved plaque and tartar retardation products, tell the client that one or twice yearly professional oral evaluation visits under anesthesia are necessary for optimal care. Often in cases of excellent plaque control, bleeding will be resolved.

Suggested reading

  • Lang NP, Adler R, et al. Absence of bleeding on probing. An indicator of periodontal stability. J Clin Periodontol 1990;17(10):714-721.
  • Joss A, Adler R, Lang NP. Bleeding on probing. A parameter for monitoring periodontal conditions in clinical practice. J Clin Periodontol 1994;21(6):402-408.
  • Chaves ES, Wood RC, Jones AA, et al. Relationship of "bleeding on probing" and "gingival index bleeding" as clinical parameters of gingival inflammation. J Clin Periodontol 1993;20(2):139-143.

Dr. Bellows owns ALL PETS DENTAL in Weston, Fla. He is a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He can be reached at (954) 349-5800; e-mail:


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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