Periodontal Pocket Reduction
in Long Island
Over 65 million Americans currently struggle with some form of periodontal disease. What causes periodontal disease to occur? The main cause of periodontal disease is caused from a sticky, colorless plaque that forms on the teeth. For your teeth and gums to function correctly, both need to be in good health. Failure to care for the teeth and gums can cause the gums to start receding and pulling away from the teeth. When this occurs, there are small periodontal pockets that need to be measured. If gum disease worsens, these pockets will become infected and can stop supporting the teeth properly. When the teeth are not supported, it will lead to problems with the teeth shifting, and feeling sore often.
What is a Periodontal Pocket?
On average a normal periodontal pocket has a depth of 2-3 millimeters. When bacteria starts to accumulate around the teeth, and it is not completely cleaned away daily, it can start to attack the gums and teeth, increasing infection concerns under the gum tissue. The teeth need to be supported by the gums or they will begin pulling away from the teeth. These periodontal pockets will continue to provide a larger space for the bacteria to continue thriving. As the bacteria advances, it will also start infecting the bone tissue, which can lead to serious oral health problems.
When a periodontal pocket reaches a depth of 5 millimeters, it is a cause for concern. The larger pockets are concerning as they have a large build-up of bacteria that needs to be removed professionally. Failure to have the pockets cleaned can lead to tooth extractions over time. Bone loss is the largest concern as it can lead to expensive and painful dental procedures. Patients often need to have multiple surgeries to reverse the problems caused by the bacteria. Dental extractions and bone grafting are some of the most common procedures following periodontal disease.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Dr. Scharf will need to measure the depth of the pockets surrounding the teeth to determine which treatment is best. Periodontal pocket reduction is recommended for patients with pockets that are too deep to clean at home, and require additional professional care to clean them.
During the procedure, Dr. Scharf will measure the pockets and apply anesthesia to the gum tissue to reduce pain. Dr. Scharf will then fold back the gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria. Once the bacteria is removed, the healthy tissue will be reattached back around the teeth. There can be additional needs for patients with damaged bones, and it needs to be smoothed prior to attaching the gums to the tooth. Irregular surfaces are breeding grounds for bacteria, and you can see an increase in bacteria when the bone is not smooth.
As long as the gum tissue can reattach to the bone, the mouth should begin healing immediately. It is common to have tenderness and slight discomfort for a few days following periodontal pocket reduction. However, patients will receive at-home care instructions such as gargling with warm saltwater to aid in speeding up the healing process.
We will use antimicrobial liquid to eliminate bacteria in the mouth. The liquid is designed to improve the healing process and prevent bacteria from re-entering the pockets and causing infection to spread. We will use tiny stitches to help seal off the gums from bacteria. You can expect these stitches to dissolve in the mouth in about 10-14 days.
Reducing the pocket depth and eliminating the bacteria in the mouth are vital to preventing damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. Eliminating bacteria may not be enough to prevent future problems with periodontal disease. Working with Dr. Scharf is the best way to ensure ongoing treatment occurs to aid in preventing additional problems. Deeper pockets are those that will need regular cleaning and maintenance by professionals to prevent bacteria from advancing further.
What Are the Benefits of Periodontal Pocket Reduction?
Pocket reduction surgery is used to eliminate bacteria, reduce inflammation, and prevent bone loss. Patients in need of periodontal treatment normally are at-risk for teeth loss due to infection compromising the bone and gums. Here are some of the reasons why pocket reduction surgery is the best option:
- Reducing bacterial spread – Keeping oral bacteria under control will reduce problems with other health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. Oral bacteria is connected to several areas of the body, all of which need bacteria controlled to reduce the risk of secondary infections.
- Reducing bone loss – Halting bone loss is vital to reducing serious concerns that require bone grafting. Bone loss can impact your jawbone, which leads to changes in your appearance as the bone continues to deteriorate. Another concern with bone loss means speech issues along with eating problems. Teeth that become too loose because of jawbone and gum disease problems can start to fall out, or they will need to be extracted.
- Easier oral healthcare – Following periodontal pocket reduction surgery, patients will be able to see an improvement in their at-home oral healthcare needs. When the pockets are clean, daily dental brushing and flossing will reduce the risk of additional infection.
- Improved smile – A healthy smile has been shown to boost confidence and increase self-esteem. Oral cavities that are impacted by periodontal disease are an eyesore. Smiles with periodontal disease can have cosmetic issues like brown gums and rotting surrounding the teeth and ridges. Don’t let your smile be impacted by gum disease, opt for pocket reduction surgery to improve the aesthetics of your smile!
What is Periodontal Regeneration?
Damage occurs when periodontal disease continues to go untreated. Sometimes the damage causes problems with the bone, and it is too deep to smoothen in a standard treatment. Periodontal regeneration will help to re-grow the supporting structure of the tooth, allowing for the mouth to become healthy again. Bone grafting, guided tissue regenerative membranes and tissue stimulating proteins are all used to help encourage the body to heal itself and begin re-growing gum tissue and strengthening the jawbone.
Does Periodontal Pocket Reduction Surgery Hurt?
We provide in-office treatments designed to prevent infection from spreading. Improvements in dental technology and medications allow us to help patients with all stages of periodontal disease. We can make your treatment pleasant and comfortable, and your at-home care simplified compared to previous treatments years ago. Our goal is to help our patients finally feel proud of their smiles while also avoiding pain and invasive dental procedures like tooth extractions. Discuss your concerns with Dr. Scharf so we can use the right anesthesia and medication to help reduce pain and healing problems.
How Long Will It Take to Heal?
Patients can expect to return to their normal routine in about a day or less. Of course, it depends on how your body reacts to the surgery, and how long your body normally takes to heal. Patients with additional health problems can see an extra day or two added to the healing time. Discuss post-operative treatments with our staff to ensure you are following the right care plan to speed up the healing process.
To schedule your appointment for periodontal pocket reduction surgery, please contact us today. Don’t wait until your gum disease worsens, call now to make an appointment to prevent the bacteria from spreading and be proud to share your smile once again!