Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth in a state of health. Periodontal disease destroys supporting tissue and bone around your teeth. As your gums become inflamed, you may have developed deeper spaces between the teeth and gums which allows the infection to spread. These spaces are called pockets around your teeth. Bacteria and food particles begin to live in these pockets causing further destruction of your bone and gum.
Periodontal pockets allow bacteria to accumulate around your teeth and advance under the gum tissue. Without treatment, the pockets become deeper and collect even more bacteria. Soon, bone and tissue are destroyed and this can lead to tooth loss.
Dr. Angie Lee is a periodontist, which means she is a specialist within the dental industry that specializes in gums. Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing 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 is 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 chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
The pocket reduction procedure involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the disease-causing bacteria and the infected tissue. It may be necessary to smooth down the surface of damaged bone and rough spots on the root surface to limit any areas where bacteria can hide. This will allow the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone and prevent the recurrence of gum disease. The tissue is then secured back into place.
The pocket reduction therapy can be performed with a local anesthetic to numb the area or under intravenous conscious sedation.