Pocket formation is a serious effect of periodontitis, the disease of all supporting tissue surrounding your teeth.
When plaque accumulates along your gumline, your periodontal disease begins as gingivitis, the inflammation of your gums, which may result in receding gums. As your gums recede, or pull away from your teeth, a space develops between your teeth and gum tissue. Because a healthy mouth includes flush contact between your gums and teeth with only a slight dip at the point of contact, this space creates an environment well-suited to bacterial growth and pocket formation.
What Is Pocket Formation?
Pocket formation is the development of small pockets of space between your gums and teeth as your gumline recedes. They are referred to as pockets because instead of peeling back, the gums form tiny enclosures in which bacteria and plaque gather. Because your home oral hygiene tools cannot reach into these pockets or remove old plaque or tartar, the bacteria continually erode and form deeper pockets.
What Are the Effects of Pocket Formation?
Pocket formation itself damages the structural integrity of your gums. Your gumline is pocketed, rather than flat against your teeth, for tissue that is unhealthy and unsightly. The recession of your gums reveals sensitive portions of your teeth near the root that naturally require covering for good health. In addition, as the pockets continue to deepen, bacteria travel farther into your oral cavity, moving past your gums and into surrounding connective tissue and bone tissue. Just as the plaque and infection wear away your gum tissue, they also damage other soft tissue and your bones. This may lead to tooth loss and Bone Loss.
How Do You Treat Pocket Formation?
As with any other effect of gum disease, the first course of action is clearing up the infection. Periodontist Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson will address the infection by cleaning away accumulated plaque, tartar, and bacterial growth. You may need to take antibiotics to clear up an infection. In addition, our team will take X-rays or a CT scan to determine the full severity of the infection and damage. If your pockets exceed 4mm, we will likely recommend pocket reduction surgery. Our periodontist will remove the excess gum and reshape the healthy gum, placing it against your teeth. He will also reshape and smooth exposed, damaged bone for a more streamlined appearance and improved health.
Seeking treatment or surgery for periodontal disease? Our board-certified periodontists take a compassionate approach to periodontal care, and will spend time getting to know you rather than hurrying out of the exam room. Schedule a visit with our team at Periodontics Associates today to review your treatment options with Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson in our Lafayette office, or with Dr. Comeaux at our Opelousas satellite office. Please contact us if you have any questions.