Ever heard of “pocketing” in the gums?
Whenever your dentist or hygienist measures your gums with a little dental probe and calls out numbers, they’re looking for periodontal pockets.
What Makes it a Pocket?
Your gums are not empty sockets around your teeth. They actually have tiny fibers that connect into the tooth. These fibers not only protect tooth roots, but they provide cushioning and support when you bite. All those ligaments and fibers make up the “periodontium” of your smile.
The empty space or shallow valley between a tooth and the gum tissue should not be very deep. A periodontal pocket happens when that trough of unattached gum tissue extends into the area where it should be attached.
The presence of a pocket also indicates that the bone supporting your tooth in that area is now gone. That’s even more bad news for your tooth.
Periodontal Pockets – Why They’re Dangerous
Why is a healthy periodontium so important?
As suggested earlier, the bone and ligaments around the roots of your teeth are critical for support. Once that support is lost, you risk losing the tooth. Not only that, but your gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. Periodontal disease in your gums can gradually affect your health in other ways.
How To Avoid Pockets
Your dentist will keep track of your gum health by taking measurements at least once a year. This will alert you to any areas of concern that need some more attention.
Keeping your teeth and gums clean is essential to avoiding an infection that triggers periodontal breakdown. Ask your dentist for suggestions on keeping your gums in top shape.
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