What Are Periodontal Pockets?

One consequence of gum disease is periodontal pockets which are deeper spaces around your teeth.

The gums fit snugly around each tooth in a healthy mouth. In fact, the space between the gum tissue and tooth attachment should be only 1-3 millimeters.

But when an individual has gum disease, the spaces can be deeper and, if not treated properly, can cause tooth loss.

Bacteria-forming plaque is the culprit for periodontal pockets. If not removed with good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing, the plaque hardens into tartar and can inflame the gum tissue resulting in gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.

The inflamed gum tissue is the perfect habitat for plaque and tartar to hide, which can deepen the pocket and actually threaten the bone around the tooth.

Watch for the signs of gum or periodontal disease which include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding
  • Red gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth

If you see any sign of gum disease, please call us right away for an appointment. We’ll assess your overall oral health, and in particular, will measure the pocket depth around each tooth with a periodontal probe. This measurement will help us to assess how far any gum disease has progressed.

Can Periodontal Pockets Be Eliminated?

To tackle periodontal pockets, we’ll first clean your teeth with a process called scaling and root planing to remove all the tartar and plaque from the teeth and underneath the gums. This will allow the gums to tighten around the teeth and heal, and may be all that is needed if there is no significant bone loss.

However, if deep periodontal pockets remain, we will discuss surgery with you.

Prevent periodontal disease with good oral care, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Importantly, come in for an exam and cleaning at least every 6 months.

If you are at risk for gum disease or have already had a scaling and planing procedure, we will want to see you more often.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.