Gum pockets

How gum pockets are treated?

Gum pockets, medically termed periodontal pockets, are spaces or openings between the gums and the tooth. Gum pockets are a symptom of periodontitis, a destructive gum disease which is caused by bacteria. These bacteria accumulate in plaque and release acidic by-products, which are responsible for oral diseases. Gum pockets also give these bacteria an excellent hiding place, which further advances the diseases leading to progressive destruction of the gums and underlying bone. 

If left untreated, the destruction continues, and gum pockets deepen, which eventually leads to tooth loss. 

How are gum pockets diagnosed?

Our excellent periodontist at Southern Delaware Dental Specialists will conduct a thorough oral examination and measure the depth of your gum pockets with a periodontal probe. This is done to analyze the extent of damage and form a treatment plan. A gap of 1-3 mm between of tooth and gum is normal. However, if it exceeds 3 mm, it is a cause of concern. Gum pockets ranging from 5 to 12mm require precise periodontal treatments. 

How are gum pockets treated?

Gum pockets are treated based on their size and depth, condition of your bone, and overall health. 

Professional scaling and root planing

Periodontal pockets with a 4-5 mm depth can be conveniently treated with a professional dental cleaning and an aggressive at-home oral hygiene routine.  Once the bacterial load reduces, it gives the gums a chance to heal and reattach with the tooth. 

For deeper pockets where the tooth root has been exposed, complete scaling and root planing may be carried out for active resolution. This has to be accompanied by proper brushing, flossing, and specialized oral rinses. 

Flap surgery for pocket reduction 

Flap surgeries involve the removal of infected tissues while reattaching the gum to its proper position. Dr. Sanz at Southern Delaware Dental Specialists will recommend flap surgery in advanced periodontal diseases to save teeth and regenerate lost bone.