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Periodontal Pockets

Periodontal pockets are related to gum disease and periodontal disease. In health, your gum tissue tightly and snugly surrounds your teeth, similar to a turtleneck sweater when worn around your neck. The bone that surrounds and supports your teeth also fits tightly around them in health. When periodontal disease is present, the supporting tissue and bone is broken down forming. When this breakdown takes place, it causes the formation of periodontal pockets or pockets.


periodontal pockets in health and in disease

Effects Of Having Periodontal Pockets

These pockets can be challenging to clean properly with just regular home care.  Often times, the pocket will become deeper as time goes on which makes it harder to clean.  The deeper the pockets, the larger the area that bacteria in the mouth have to occupy.  As bacteria accumulate in the pockets that surround the teeth, they penetrate under the gum tissue.  This results in more bacterial accumulation, which leads to increased bone and gum tissue damage.  When too much bone is lost, the teeth can no longer be supported by the surrounding bone, which leads to loose teeth.  Loose teeth will usually need to be extracted when the bone levels are too low to support them or if the bone levels cannot be rebuilt by bone grafting.

Some people may experience tooth sensitivity as well due to exposed tooth surface or tooth root surface, that is accompanied by severe bone loss.

Periodontal Pocket Treatment

Brushing and flossing is an effective way to keep a healthy mouth that way, when the proper technique is used.  In an unhealthy mouth, normal brushing and flossing cannot usually reach deep enough into a pocket to clean it effectively.  Pockets can vary in depth, depending on the severity of the bone loss.  If you have deep periodontal pockets, your dentist or dental hygienist will normally recommend that you have regular dental cleanings at closer intervals.  Dental hygiene treatment in closer intervals allows your oral health to be monitored more regularly and prevents bacteria and plaque from building up in a larger amount.

If your gums do not fit tightly around your teeth or if you feel like food is constantly getting stuck under your gums, you may have periodontal pockets.  Contact us for a consultation or to discuss treatment options.


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