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Gum Conditions

Pocket Correction Procedures

Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone are destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.

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, creating more severe forms of periodontal disease. 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.

A pocket reduction procedure may be recommended by a periodontist when the depths of pockets become too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.

During this procedure, the periodontist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone will be smoothed to limit areas where disease causing bacteria can hide. This will allow the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.

Reducing pocket depths and eliminating bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. 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 for you to reduce them. Reduced pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth—and decrease the chances of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.


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