Gingivitis Index (GI)
The gingival index (GI) is a measurement of gingival health. The assessments of gingival changes are scored using the following
0 - normal healthy gingiva
1 - moderate inflammation, moderate redness, not bleeding on probing, edema
2 - moderate inflammation, moderate to severe redness, edema, bleeding upon
3 - severe inflammation, severe redness, edema, ulceration, spontaneous bleeding
Each tooth is given the most severe score.
Probe Depth (PD)
Probe depth (PD) is a measure of the depth the periodontal pockets often found in periodontal disease. The probe depth is
measured at multiple sites of the tooth. A periodontal probe with millimeter markings is gently placed between the free gingival
and the tooth surface, and carefully advanced until soft tissue resistance is felt. The tip of the probe should be parallel
to the long axis of the tooth. The pocket depth is recorded as the distance in mm from the free gingival margin to the bottom
of the pocket. The probe may be glided or walked along the tooth to measure the varying pocket depths. A normal gingival sulcus
depth is 1-3 mm in dogs and 0.5 to 1mm in cats. Measurements in excess of these values should be recorded in the appropriate
location on the dental chart.
Gingival recession is also measured with the periodontal probe. It is the distance from the cemento-enamel junction to the
margin of the free gingiva. At sites with gingival recession the probe depth may be normal despite the loss of alveolar bone.
Areas of gingival recession should be noted on the dental chart.
Furcation Index (FI)
The furcation index (FI) measures the loss of bone support in multi-rooted teeth. A periodontal probe is placed perpendicular
to the long axis of the tooth and slid along the free marginal groove to the furcation site. The following criteria are used
to assign a numerical score.
0 - no loss of bone support
1 - horizontal loss of supporting tissues not exceeding one-third of the width of
2 - horizontal loss of supporting tissues exceeding one-third of the width of the tooth but no encompassing the
total width of the furcation area.
3 - horizontal through and through loss of supporting tissue.
A furcation index of 1-3 should be noted on the dental chart.
Mobility Index (MI)
The mobility index (MI) measures the loss of bone support by indicating the amount of movement of the tooth. The length of
the periodontal probe is placed on the buccal surface of crown of the tooth and gentle pressure is applied to the tooth. The
following criteria are used to assign a numerical score.
0 - no mobility
1 - perceptible mobility but less than 1 mm buccolingually
2 - definite mobility between 1-2 mm
3 - gross mobility exceeding 2 mm buccolingually and/or vertical mobility
A mobility index of 1-3 should be noted on the dental chart.
Periodontal Attachment Level (PAL)
This measurement is similar to the Probe depth measurement. In the PAL the pocket depth is measured from the base or apex
of the pocket to the cemento-enamel junction. This is a more accurate assessment of tissue loss in periodontitis. PAL can
be directly measured or it can be calculated as the sum of PD plus gingival recession.
Probe depth (aka – pocket depth) is an important part of charting. This loss of attachment is created by the progression of
periodontal disease and therefore a vital piece of information. The normal healthy mouth has a probe depth of 1-3 mm in dogs
and 1 mm or less in cats. Any probe depth greater than this should be recorded on the chart. The probe should be walked around
all sides of the tooth to ensure all pockets are recorded.