What Are Periodontal or Gum Pockets?When you visit your dentist for regular checkups you might be aware they gently probe your gums, and you may hear them reading out various measurements to their assistant. Your gums are probed using a special instrument to see if they bleed at all (bleeding gums), as healthy gums should not bleed when probed. The dental probe is inserted into the small space in between your gum and tooth to measure the overall depth. If you have healthy gums, this depth will be around 3 mm, but any greater could indicate periodontal disease (see: periodontal disease symptoms).
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that creates inflammation in the gum tissue. One effect is to cause the gum tissue to pull away from your teeth. You might notice this occurring and that your teeth begin to look longer than before as the gums recede (see: receding gums symptoms, receding gums causes). The problem with receding gums is that it causes periodontal pockets or gum pockets to develop because the gum tissue will gradually become looser and less tightly fitting around your teeth. Unfortunately gum pockets are the perfect home for the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place, enabling them to multiply and thrive and resulting in even more destruction.
As the pockets become deeper they begin to affect not only the gum tissue, but also the ligaments which are attached to your teeth and to the tooth sockets. Eventually the infection can destroy these ligaments, causing a loss of attachment between your tooth and the socket. By this stage you might begin to notice your teeth feel a little bit loose. At the same time the infection will be eating away at the bone around your teeth, and by this stage it may be too late to save the infected teeth.
Gum Pockets Treatment
This is why we take the presence of periodontal pockets so seriously, and will recommend immediate action to try to reduce the pockets and to clear up the bacterial infection around your teeth, hopefully before the disease has become too destructive. The use of nonsurgical treatments such as scaling and root planing (see: treating periodontal disease) and laser therapy (see: laser gum treatment in NYC) can help reduce these periodontal pockets, removing the infection and helping the gums to heal.
After the infection has been removed from the periodontal pockets, your gums will be able to fight the infection more effectively, and the periodontal pockets will become less deep. You may notice your teeth still look longer than before, even after treatment has controlled the infection. This is because the infection may well have destroyed some of your gum tissue. In this case we may recommend more extensive treatments to help rebuild lost tissues. Advanced surgical treatments (gum grafting, gum recontouring, osseous surgery nyc) can help new ligament attachment fibers to develop, and gum grafts can repair some of the damage to the gums through building up the gum tissue in areas where it is deficient.
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