What Are Periodontal Pockets? How Can You Get Rid of Them?

October 23, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — ranchopark @ 6:16 pm
Illustration showing formation of periodontal pockets

If your mouth is healthy, you probably never give much thought to your gums. They are simply the subtle frame that surrounds your teeth. If you develop gum disease, however, you may start to worry about periodontal pockets. What exactly are periodontal pockets, and how can you get rid of them? This blog post explains what you should know.

What Are Periodontal Pockets?

When your gums are healthy, they should be firmly attached to your teeth. Unfortunately, that can change over time. As plaque accumulates along the gumline, it can harden into tarter. This bacteria-filled biofilm can lead to swelling and inflammation. As a result, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth, forming periodontal pockets. The formation of these pockets is a telltale sign of gum disease.

Without treatment, the pockets can deepen over time, and normal brushing and flossing may not be able to reach into them in order to get rid of harmful bacteria. Even more concerning is the fact that as the gums pull away from the teeth, bone loss in the jaw may also occur. Eventually, this can cause the teeth to loosen. In fact, untreated periodontitis (the advanced stage of gum disease) is a leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the U.S.

What Can You Do About Periodontal Pockets?

If you ever notice that the space between your gums and teeth seems to be widening, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. You may need to undergo a procedure known as scaling and root planing, which is essentially a deep cleaning of the mouth. Your dental team will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from both above and below your gumline. Once the bacteria are gone, the gums will have an opportunity to reattach to your teeth.

Of course, depending on the specifics of your case, other treatments may be necessary. Some patients need to take a course of antibiotics to continue fighting unwanted oral bacteria. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be the best course of action.

Is There Any Way to Prevent Periodontal Pockets?

In most cases, it is possible to prevent periodontal pockets from forming. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Stick to a thorough oral hygiene routine. Be sure to brush the area along your gumline and floss at least once a day.
  • Be gentle when you are brushing and flossing your teeth.
  • Do not smoke, chew tobacco, or overindulge in alcohol.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Periodontal pockets are a serious problem! Do your best to prevent and/or eliminate them so you can enjoy a healthy smile.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Nicole Sassounian is a highly skilled general dentist who is passionate about helping patients enjoy sound oral health. Along with Dr. Albert Silvera, she provides a full range of oral health services, including treatments that are designed to fight gum disease. To learn more about how our talented team may be able to help you enjoy a healthy smile, contact our Los Angeles practice at 310-575-0886.

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