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What are Periodontal Pockets?
When gum disease is left untreated, it can turn into a periodontal infection. As a result of severe periodontal disease, pockets can develop between the teeth and gums over time. These pockets are often filled with plaque and unwanted bacteria. Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
Can Periodontal Pockets Be Reduced?
In most cases, the depth of periodontal pockets can be significantly reduced. By reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria we can prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and help you maintain a healthy smile. However, eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it's important to have them reduced.
Reasons for Pocket Reduction Surgery
- To reduce the spread of bacteria - deep pockets can trap food debris and cause bacteria and plaque buildup, which over time can cause pockets to deepen further
- To prevent bone loss - periodontal infections cause severe inflammation, which if left untreated can destroy bone tissue. If the jawbone begins to erode, teeth become loose and may require extraction.
- To support home oral health care - if pockets deepen severely, they can be difficult for the patient to clean at home. Regular brushing and flossing is essential to periodontal maintenance, in addition to regular professional cleanings and exams
- To improve smile appearance - eroding gums, rotting teeth, and other effects of periodontal disease on a person's smile are not appealing. Pocket reduction surgery can stop the infection from progressing and significantly improve the appearance of a patient's smile
Reduced pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth and decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease. Combined with regenerative procedures to spur the development of new bone tissue, you could restore the appearance of your smile. If you are interested in learning more about our Rochester periodontal pocket reduction services or would like to schedule an appointment for periodontal pocket reduction surgery, please call our office at 603-332-8868!