Please enable JavaScript to access this page. Medicine And Fitness: How Healing Periodontal Pocket Is Done

How Healing Periodontal Pocket Is Done

By Douglas Hamilton

Treating periodontal disease or pockets can be a hectic process that requires thorough commitment. Usually, there are two major goals in the treatment process. The first goal is controlling and reducing bacterial colonies that are formed beneath the edge of gums. The second goal is eliminating known factors that increase vulnerability of the patient to breakdown. These two goals can be achieved at home if the pockets are still in their early stages. However, in advanced stages, healing periodontal pocket may require professional help.

The bone is usually unaltered during early stages of the disease, while the gums are affected. Pockets only extend to shallow depths. Usually they reach up to 5 millimeters. At that stage of the disease, deep cleanings also called scaling and root planing is the most appropriate method to use to eliminate pockets and infection. The process eliminates calculus and plaque.

Sometimes pockets may be noticed to be tender when the surgeon is doing scaling and root planing. In such a case, the gums need to be numbed to avoid pain. After the process, there should be no pain felt. To avoid future reoccurrences, it is upon the patient to do thorough brushing and flossing every day so that plaque does not build up again. The gums usually snug back up on the root as they heal.

In cases where pockets are moderate in depth or advanced, there is usually actual loss of bone. Pockets may be a bit deeper, reaching 7 millimeters in depth. Scaling and planing becomes insufficient for total removal of calculus. This is because the bottom of the pockets cannot be accessed with ease. The best method used here is referred to as flap surgery. With this method, the periodontist has enough access to do thorough cleaning.

Flap surgery involves making an incision between the gum and tooth. After making the incision, the gum gets peeled back from the neck of the tooth. With such access, the surgeon can sufficiently clean the deeply-seated calculus and debride the tooth involved. All the altered tissue can be returned to former position when the surgery is finished. This minimizes cosmetic change.

One problem with flap surgery is that the gum never reconnects to the tooth after the incision. That way, pockets continue to persist, even though the infection is removed. To avoid future reoccurrence of this problem, the patient has to continuously go for frequent hygienist cleanings to control the infection. Similarly, the periodontist can reposition gums so as to eliminate pockets during the surgery.

There are also cases where the pockets may be too advanced or too deep or where surgery is simply just not an option. Very deep pockets are usually hard to treat fully and there will always be residual pockets left. In such cases, the only applicable solution is to try and minimize the pockets and chances of reoccurrence.

Periodontal disease and pockets have been considered to be chronic diseases that are incapable of being eliminated completely or cured. Patients continue to be susceptible after treatment while causes of infection and plaque are ever present in the mouth. The best solution is daily vigilance in dental hygiene.

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