The gingival sulcus is snuggly fit around the tooth but in the presence of gingival diseases the periodontal sulcus depends and gets unattached from the tooth surface, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Pocket formation is one of the earliest indications of periodontal disease. As it deepens, it gives the perfect breeding environment for bacteria to interact with the plaque and debris collected inside these pockets and leads to greater attachment losses. It’s depth is measured by a periodontal probe from the gingival margin to the estimated base of the pocket at 3 places for each tooth on the facial side, and 3 from the lingual side. The probe has markings on its surface which correspond to the mms the pocket is deep and then these are recorded to assess which part of the mouth needs more thorough dental intervention and which is relatively healthier.
Pocket depths and what they mean:
– 1-3mm : healthy gingiva – >3-4 : gum disease
– >5 : periodontal disease
Treatment of periodontal pockets:
The treatment depends on the progression of disease and the depth of the pockets. For initial lesions, the focus is on removing the plaque biofilm which surrounds the gingiva. Correct brushing techniques, scaling, root planing and debridement and elimination of plaque inducing factors is the first line of treatment. Additionally, anti-bacterial mouth rises are given to eliminate the bacterial load. If the periodontal disease has progressed to a chronic condition, surgical intervention might be needed, some of which might include mucogingival, resective or regenerative surgery amongst others.
If you have any of the typical symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, or have been diagnosed by it, Dr. Sanz, our board certified periodontologist at Wilmington will do a detailed examination of your case and provide the necessary dental treatment.