Posted on 9/25/2016 by Scholes Periodontics & Implants
At your most recent dental appointment, you may have heard your dentist mention periodontal pockets, but do you really know what these are? Read on to find out what you need to know about periodontal pockets and why they are such a problem.
Periodontal Pockets Defined
In a healthy mouth, the gums should fit around the teeth snugly, and the distance between the gums and where they attach to the tooth should only be 1-3 mm deep. Unfortunately, gum disease can create deeper spaces around the teeth, and these are known as periodontal pockets. Without treatment, you could experience tooth loss.
The Formation of Periodontal Pockets
Plaque loves to accumulate on the teeth, especially on the gum line. If you don't remove this plaque, it will harden to form tartar, and the bacteria that grow on the tartar will result in gum inflammation.
This swelling and inflammation can cause a pocket to form between the teeth and the gums, and as the gums start to pull away from the teeth, this space becomes the perfect location for more plaque and tartar to hide out. Thus, the cycle continues, and the pocket will become deeper while posing a threat to the bone that supports your teeth.
Treating Periodontal Pockets
If your dentist or periodontist is concerned about your periodontal pocket depth, the first stage in treatment is a professional cleaning, sometimes referred to scaling and root planing.
All of the plaque and tartar needs to be removed from under your gums and on your teeth so that the gums are able to heal and tighten up around the teeth again. If the pockets are extremely deep, surgical treatment might be needed.
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, it is important that you follow up with regular dental cleanings. Call our dental office today to set up your cleaning schedule to keep your teeth and gums healthy.