What is a Periodontal Pocket?

Want to keep all of your teeth for years to come? Like we mentioned in a past blog, tooth loss can severely impact your oral health and overall quality of life. Issues such as tooth loss and poor periodontal health have even been linked to systemic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

There are plenty of factors that can contribute to the loss of a tooth. The formation of periodontal pockets is a topic that you should pay special attention to because it can significantly increase your likelihood of tooth loss. So, what is a periodontal pocket and how do they form? Dr. Devang Shah explains more about this topic for patients here in Dacula, GA.

Anatomy of Periodontal Tissue

Before we explain more about periodontal pockets, let’s briefly go over the anatomy of periodontal tissue. The tissue is made up of four different structures including the gingiva, cementum, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament.

Gingiva: When you think about the gums, the gingiva is probably what you’ll first picture. The gingiva is typically pink in color and will fit tightly around the teeth if the tissue if healthy.

Cementum: The cementum is an important aspect of the periodontium because it is the surface layer of the tooth root. This calcified substance is attached to the alveolar bone and helps to anchor the periodontal ligament.

Alveolar Bone: The alveolar bone is the ridge of bone containing the tooth sockets. This bony structure supports the teeth and is made up of the cortical bone that makes the tooth socket and is also supported by the trabecular bone.

Periodontal Ligament: This ligament is imperative for a healthy smile because of its supportive function of the tooth. The periodontal ligament supports your smile by connecting the tooth to the alveolar bone.

The Formation of Periodontal Pockets

As we mentioned before, the tissue around the teeth should fit snug if you have healthy periodontal tissue. The tissue can begin to pull away from your teeth in a process known as gum recession when the tissue is infected and inflamed. The first sign of gum disease is red, swollen gums that can frequently bleed while brushing and flossing.

The gums typically become inflamed after plaque has accumulated along and beneath the gum line. If dental plaque isn’t removed regularly it will eventually harden into tartar. Tartar not only dims the brightness of your smile, but it is also cannot be removed on your own. You will need the help of dental professional to remove tartar that hardens on your teeth. When tartar is not removed, bacteria will continue to accumulate on the tartar and will irritate your gums. After a period of time, swelling and inflammation will cause spaces around your teeth. These spaces are known as periodontal pockets and are the perfect area for more plaque to accumulate. As the spaces continue to deepen, the bone and connective tissue around your teeth become susceptible to damage. When the supportive bone and tissue are damaged, you are more likely to experience tooth loss.

Preventing tooth loss and periodontal pockets it simple! Brushing and flossing regularly will remove plaque from your teeth before it hardens into tartar. It’s also important to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning. Regular professional cleaning will help to remove any tartar that has accumulated before it becomes a more serious issue. Your dentist should also be able to check your periodontal health by looking at the color of your gums and measuring space between your gums and teeth.

Contact Dental Smiles at Dacula

Poor periodontal health and tooth loss can be easily avoided with a regular oral hygiene routine and visits to your dentist. Are you in the Dacula area? We offer a range of dental services to help you achieve a beautiful healthy smile. Contact our office today to find out how Dr. Devang Shah and the rest of the friendly staff at Dental Smiles at Dacula can help your oral health.

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