What to do if the dentist says you have deep pockets in your gumsMarch 11, 2020 4:37 am
So you’ve been to the dentist, and its bad news – you have gingival pockets. What happens now? It’s not all bad news, as the dentist can usually treat the problem. Here’s what to know about gingival pockets and gum disease.
- What are gingival pockets?
Gingival pockets are a symptom of gingivitis – meaning gum disease. All gum disease starts with plaque, a sticky substance that is formed when bad bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and starches in your food and multiplies. Overtime (and if not removed by thorough brushing) the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. This can’t really be removed by brushing alone, and it enables more bacteria to gather and cause more damage. These bacteria cause gums to become red, swollen and sore – called gingivitis, the mild version of gum disease.
Again, if left untreated, then more bacteria form and gums become more inflamed. The gums will start to pull away from teeth around the gum line and form gingival pockets. It’s normal to have a small gap between the edge of the gum tissue and your tooth – but gum disease causes those gaps to become bigger and bigger, which is a problem. These gingival pockets accelerate the infection process further because the pockets fill with bacteria, plaque, and the dreaded tartar. The infection can cause teeth to become loose as tissue is lost and bone is damaged. This is the later form of gum disease, called periodontitis, with the pockets being called ‘periodontal pockets’.
Gum disease usually starts with a combination of poor diet, which helps feed bacteria with the sugars that they love, and neglectful dental hygiene, which allows the bacteria to thrive. Unfortunately, the early stages of gum disease have very subtle symptoms that you may miss altogether. However, you might notice that your gums are uncomfortable or painful, and they may bleed when you brush. If the gum disease is at a more advanced stage then you may notice bad breath, an odd taste in your mouth, or more frequent pain.
It’s best to see your dentist at Drs. Nicolas & Asp as soon as you notice any symptoms – in fact, it’s best to see your dentist every six months anyway, as they can spot the signs of gum disease before you may notice yourself. The dentist will form a gum treatment plan that fits the severity of your gum disease. First, they will measure the size of the pockets in order to work out how far the infection has spread. They will likely perform a professional clean, which will remove the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that has been formed. If the gum disease has progressed then you may need gum treatment surgery performed by a periodontist to properly clean away all the bacteria and reduce the size of the pockets – so that bacteria can’t make a home there again. The best dentist may also need to do ‘scaling and ‘root planing’ which basically smooth the damaged surfaces so that healthy gum tissue can reconnect with healthy teeth. However, this is only in more advanced stages of the disease. Antibiotics might also be needed to help bring infections under control.
- Preventative measures
Once the dentist Drs. Nicolas & Asp has treated your gum disease and dealt with those pockets, it’s time to review your own dental hygiene routine at home. Make sure you are brushing thoroughly for two minutes twice a day, which should be sufficient to remove plaque every day and prevent it from hardening. The best dentist may also prescribe a special mouthwash. Lose the bad, sugary foods and the fizzy drinks, so you are not feeding the ‘bad’ bacteria in your mouth with the food they love. And, make sure you see your dentist regularly so they can keep a close eye on your dental health!
Categorised in: Uncategorized
This post was written by admin