Have You Been Told You Have Dental Pockets?

In periodontics, “pockets” are the spaces between your gums and where they attach to your teeth. These pockets often form due to a buildup of plaque on your teeth. If the resulting harder tartar is not removed by your periodontal specialist, the bacteria can cause inflammation of the gum tissue, or gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.

We measure this pocket depth for all patients with special periodontal probes. The greater the number of millimeters below the gum line, the more that normal “attachment” loss has occurred. In a healthy smile, these pockets should be less than 3 mm. As inflammation increases, gums recede even further, and your teeth may become loose.

Treatment will depend on the depth and severity of the pockets. We can usually remove the tartar buildup. Special cleaning known as scaling and root planing helps your gums to tighten around your teeth once again. Additional pocket reduction and regenerative procedures can be implemented to remove infection and bring the bacteria under control.

Preventing Periodontal Pockets

By taking good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing, avoiding sugary foods as well as keeping regular visits with your dentists, you can often avoid periodontal pockets. Other factors that contribute to periodontal pockets can include:

  • Smoking or other tobacco usage
  • Taking medication that causes dry mouth
  • Experiencing hormonal changes
  • Having a family history of gum disease
  • Undergoing cancer treatments and/or having a vitamin C deficiency

Take charge of your oral health by tackling gum disease as early as possible. Your only deep “pockets” should be in your clothing, not your mouth! Contact us to schedule your appointment at (561) 912-9993.