Getting to Know Your Periodontal Pockets

If you develop gum disease, one complication you may experience is periodontal pockets. These pockets can increase your risk of tooth loss and allow toxins to build up along your gum line. Treating these pockets is an important step in protecting your teeth and overcoming gum disease. If your dentist discovers periodontal pockets during a dental cleaning, here is what you need to know about what they are and how you can recover from them.

What exactly are periodontal pockets?

Periodontal pockets are open spaces that grow between your teeth and gums. Typically, your gums sit snugly against your teeth with no more than a three-millimeter space between them. When you have gum disease, this space can grow bigger. When you have a dental cleaning, one of the things your dentist will do is measure the space between your teeth and gums to determine if you have any periodontal pockets, indicating that you have gum disease.

Why do pockets form?

If plaque is allowed to build up along the gums and is not removed through brushing and flossing, it can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar can only be removed during a dental cleaning. Bacteria forms along the surface of the tartar and triggers inflammation and swelling, which in turn causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. Once the pockets form, they create a space where even more bacteria and tartar can build up, causing a cycle of inflammation. Eventually, periodontal pockets can affect the roots of your teeth and the bones in the jaw, causing teeth to become loose.

How are pockets treated?

For minor pockets, regular dental cleanings and improved home care is all that is necessary. For deeper pockets, you may need a special type of cleaning called scaling and root planing that allows your dentist to thoroughly remove deeper tartar and bacteria deposits.

Regular appointments for dental cleanings in Bloomingdale, IL, at Eagle Falls Dentistry can help you avoid gum disease and get treatment for oral health issues in early stages. To schedule an appointment for dental care, call (630) 894-5992.

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