Think of the way your teeth sit in your mouth. On visual inspection they are surrounded by the gums and below the gums (where we can’t see) they have a root that extends into the jaw bone. The gums are supposed to be flush with the surface of the tooth. Periodontitis, or gum disease is an issue that arises when tartar is allowed to buildup below the gum line. When this buildup occurs, the tartar pushes the gums off of the surface of the tooth, creating pockets in the gums. This is a serious oral health issue and must be dealt with in order to save your teeth and avoid costly tooth replacement procedures. This is why we at Southern Arizona Perio offer pocket reduction therapy.
What is pocket reduction?
The gums should fit around your teeth like a turtleneck fits around your neck – snugly. This snug fit is required to guarantee oral health and prevent food particles from becoming lodged in the gap between the teeth and gums. When tartar buildup is allowed to form on the root of the tooth, below the gum line, the result is a pocket that can easily attract bits of food and other foreign materials.
When foods and bacteria are allowed into these pockets, the gap will grow, the problem will worsen, and usually there is some healthy bone and soft tissue loss associated. Pocket reduction aims to reduce and eliminate the pocket between the teeth and gums. If pocket reduction is not done in time and this issue is allowed to persist, the end result will be tooth and bone loss. When bone loss occurs in large quantities a bone graft may be needed just to replace teeth with a good tooth replacement option like a dental implant.
Our goal is to ensure your continued oral health by whatever means necessary, and we are experts at pocket reduction and elimination.
As with any procedure, this one starts by ensuring your comfort. We will numb all the areas that we will need to work on and allow some time for the numbing agent to kick in. If at any point during the procedure you feel uncomfortable, simply let us know and we will do our very best to accommodate you!
The actual procedure will start when we measure the depth of the pocket so that we can determine how far the issue has progressed. We will do so for all of the teeth in your mouth. Once we understand where the issue is and how deep the pockets are we can begin removing the bacterial deposits. We do this by folding back the gums and working on the tartar on the roots of your teeth. For the most part this tartar removal is accomplished with an ultrasonic scaler.
Ultrasonic scalers do a great job at breaking up hard tartar. We irrigate your gums heavily using water and put them back in place when we are done. Depending on the severity of the case this might need to happen over a series of visits to our office.
Please call us today to schedule an appointment.