Periodontal Pocket Reduction

What are periodontal pockets? Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth. If periodontal disease develops and destroys supporting gum tissue and bone around your teeth, your gums become inflamed and pockets form around your teeth. Bacteria and food particles begin to live in these pockets causing more and more decay to your gums and teeth.

Periodontal pockets allow bacteria and foreign particles to accumulate in the gums around your teeth.  Without treatment the pockets become deeper and collect even more bacteria. Soon bone and gum tissue begin to decay as the acid from tartar destroys the living tissue. Eventually you will lose your teeth or they will need to be extracted.

Avoiding Periodontal Pocket Reduction

Dr Bruggeman, our general dentist, can measure the depth of your pockets. This is typically done during your annual cleaning. If Dr. Bruggeman notices pocket depth being too much, he’ll recommend a better oral hygiene practice. If a periodontal pocket reduction procedure has been recommended by Dr. Bruggeman it’s because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene or a general dental cleaning.

The Procedure

The pocket reduction procedure involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the disease-causing bacteria. Once the bacteria is removed the tissue is then secured back into place. Sometimes it is necessary to smooth out the surface of damaged bone to limit any areas where bacteria can hide. Smoothing out area of concern will allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.

Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. However, eliminating bacteria below your gum line alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease from coming back. It becomes your responsibility to reduced pockets with a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance. This will decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.