Dental Tips Blog

Jul
30

Eliminating Periodontal Pockets

Posted in Gum Disease

Having deep gum pockets not only makes you more likely to lose your teeth, they also contribute to bad breath, crooked teeth and food entrapment between the teeth. When traditional cleanings aren’t enough to restore your gums to proper health, pocket elimination therapy may be the best answer.

Typically someone with gum disease will undergo traditional scaling and root planing treatments. These deep cleanings remove calcified bacteria from the root surfaces of teeth, under the gum pockets. Sometimes these appointments are broken up into two visits so that local anesthesia can keep the patient comfortable throughout the entire treatment. Patients that have had deep cleanings will need to see their dentist for regular periodontal maintenance appointments to maintain their gum health so that pockets can become shallower and not advance any deeper.

For more severe pocket areas, a locally administered antibiotic capsule may be placed in the bottom of the pocket. This medication delivers a constant dose over the period of about 2 weeks, making a dramatic impact on the health of the diseased tissue area.

When non-invasive therapies are ineffective, periodontal surgery may be the most successful way to eliminate and prevent future periodontal pocket development. Flap surgery or crown lengthening can eliminate deep gum pockets and create shallower pockets that are easier for you to keep clean and maintain. This prevents deep tartar or plaque deposits from forming in areas and destroying more bone support.

Contact your dentist to determine what type of gum disease treatment or periodontal pocket surgery is the best option for your dental health. Depending on the severity or stage of your gum pockets, a combination of treatments may be the best answer.

Posted on behalf of North Point Periodontics

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Jul
28

What is Gum Pocket Surgery?

Posted in Gum Disease

Sometimes traditional periodontal disease treatment isn’t enough for some people to regain control of their oral health. In some cases, the pockets beneath their gums are so deep that it’s impossible to practice daily plaque removal of all areas. Even a slight bacterial presence of plaque and tartar can keep a diseased area from reversing. As a result, the process becomes more advanced, and further gum and bone loss occurs, compromising the health and stability of the teeth.

Gum pocket surgery is also known as pocket elimination surgery or crown lengthening. The surgery removes excessive diseased pocket tissue so that the area has a much shallower pocket. As a result, the patient can better clean the area on a daily basis, preventing plaque and tartar deposits from causing additional damage. By performing the procedure, patients can gain control over their oral health and extend the life of teeth that are affected by the disease. Combined with routine preventive care visits with your dentist, patients that receive gum pocket surgery are likely to experience better gum health than if they had not undergone the surgical treatment.

Healthy gum pockets range from 0-3 millimeters deep around each tooth. When gum disease is present, pocket areas become deeper due to loss of healthy attachment tissue. When pockets become deeper than 6mm, they are difficult to improve, even with routine cleanings. Gum pocket surgery shortens the pockets back to a healthier depth, so that flossing, brushing or water flossing can clean the area effectively each day. When cleaned thoroughly, the disease process reverses and prevents future loss of support. If you have battled gum disease and it seems as if nothing you are doing is helping to improve the cycle, ask your dentist about surgical options that can shorten your pocket depths.

Posted on behalf of North Point Periodontics

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Mar
12

Oral Surgeries to Treat Periodontal Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Sometimes, receding gums and mild gum disease cannot be treated with deep cleaning and scalings. In these cases, a dentist may recommend oral surgery to help preserve the tooth and keep the gum line healthy.

There are several types of oral surgery that can be done for a receding gum line.  The most common type of oral surgery for mild gum disease is called pocket elimination.  During this procedure, the dentist will remove any plaque, tartar, and other bacteria, and then snugly place the gum tissue back over the tooth.  This procedure helps eliminate the ‘gaps’ at the gum line, and the tooth root is protected as it is no longer exposed.  A local anesthetic is used to make sure that the patient never feels or experiences any pain.

In some cases of gum and periodontal disease, bone is destroyed. This bone helps support your teeth, and replacing the lost bone and tissue is required.  Bone regeneration surgery may be recommended in this case. After appropriate anesthetic agents are given, the gum line is cleaned just as it is in pocket depth reduction.  After the cleaning, the dentist will apply a material that will help your body make new bone and tissue in the affected area.  The gum is then reapplied and fastened securely in place.

In some cases, tissue may need to be replaced.  Usually, this is a connective tissue graft. A connective tissue graft removes part of the connective tissue in your mouth and places it around the exposed tooth line.  There are other types of grafts, but the process is basically the same:  a piece of tissue is removed from another part of the mouth, and placed around the exposed root, and the sutured in place.  In some cases, the graft may be from donors or artificial materials, depending on circumstances.  In all graft cases, the patient receives appropriate anesthetic agents and the procedure is then performed.

Based on the extent of gum disease, gum line recession, and other issues, your dentist will determine the best surgical option for you.  Having the surgical procedure will allow your teeth to remain healthy for the rest of your life!

Posted on the behalf of North Point Periodontics

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