Maintaining good oral health is a lifelong commitment, and part of this commitment involves regular dental check-ups. Periodontal exams, which focus on the health of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, are essential for preventing and addressing gum diseases. In this article, we explore the ideal timing for scheduling periodontal exams in Seattle WA or anywhere else and highlight the factors that influence how often you should have them.

1. Frequency for Adults

For the average adult with good oral health, it is recommended to have a periodontal exam once a year. This annual schedule allows dentists to monitor any changes in your oral health and catch potential issues early. Regular exams are crucial for preventing gum diseases and other dental problems.

2. High-Risk Individuals

Some individuals are at a higher risk of developing gum diseases due to factors like smoking, diabetes, or a family history of periodontal issues. For these high-risk individuals, more frequent periodontal exams may be necessary. Dentists may recommend exams every three to four months to closely monitor their oral health and provide timely intervention.

3. Individuals with Gum Diseases

If you have a history of gum diseases, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, or if you’ve already undergone treatment for such conditions, more frequent periodontal exams are typically advised. These individuals may require exams every three to four months to ensure that the disease is under control and not progressing.

4. Periodontal Maintenance

After undergoing treatment for gum diseases, individuals enter a phase called periodontal maintenance. During this phase, patients are typically seen by their dentist every three to four months for a periodontal exam and professional cleanings. This schedule helps in preventing the recurrence of gum diseases and maintaining oral health.

5. Children and Adolescents

Children and adolescents may not require periodontal exams as frequently as adults. Typically, an annual exam is sufficient for children and teenagers with good oral health. However, those with specific risk factors, such as a family history of gum diseases or braces, may need more frequent exams.

6. Pregnancy and Menopause

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can increase the risk of gum problems. Women in these phases of life should be proactive about their oral health and consider more frequent periodontal exams to ensure that any issues are detected and addressed promptly.


The timing of periodontal exams varies depending on an individual’s age, overall health, and specific risk factors. For the average adult, an annual exam is generally sufficient to maintain good oral health. However, high-risk individuals, those with a history of gum diseases, and people in certain life stages may require more frequent exams. The key to effective oral health management is to work closely with your dentist to determine the ideal schedule for your periodontal exams. By doing so, you can ensure that your oral health is continuously monitored, and any issues are addressed in a timely manner. Regardless of your individual circumstances, regular periodontal exams are a crucial part of a comprehensive approach to preserving your beautiful smile and overall well-being.