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Never Take Your Healthy Teeth for Granted


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Never Take Your Healthy Teeth for Granted

When I was growing up, my mother took my three brothers and I to the dentist for check-ups every six months, and while my brothers all tended to need cavity fillings after the exams, I didn't get a cavity for almost my entire childhood! That led me to start feeling like my teeth were "invincible," and once I moved out of my parents house, I started skipping my trips to the dentist. I soon regretted it, because I developed a toothache that put me through the worst pain of my life. I went to visit the dentist, and he told me that not only did I need a root canal, but I also had two additional cavities to fill! I have since dedicated myself to good oral hygiene, and I decided to start a blog to share my oral health tips and encourage others to take care of their teeth!

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Deep Gum Pockets And How Your Dentist Will Treat Them

So your dentist informed you that not only do you have gingivitis, but also gum pockets so deep that you need a deep dental cleaning treatment. Whatever that is, it sounds uncomfortable. When you look at your gums in the mirror, you are trying to figure out what gum pockets are, and if you can even see them. To make it easier to understand, your dentist points out your pockets, both with and without the assistance of your dental x-rays.

Deep Gum Pockets

If your dentist says you have deep gum pockets, he does not mean you have oral cavities where you pocket wads of pre-chewed food. What he does mean is that your plaque bacteria has moved deep into your gum tissue and has multiplied to the point that the tissue around the roots of your teeth has pulled away and created large open areas of space. These pockets, as they are called, are plaque bacteria's own little Petri dishes, where continued expansion of disease grows and festers until it develops into an infection, possibly accompanied by pus.

You can see gum pockets clearly on an x-ray of your teeth as dark, circular spots near the roots of your teeth. Without an x-ray, the pockets make your gums look a little puffier than they should be. If the gum disease is advanced enough, you can even push on your puffy gums and feel the gum pockets squish under the pressure of your finger.

Treating the Gum Pockets

Obviously, the first step in decreasing the amount of bacteria in these gum pockets is to reach in with small dental instruments, plane the roots and scale the bacteria away. For people who have really sensitive oral tissues, you are going to need a numbing agent. Most patients who have to have a deep gum cleaning do report that it hurts, so ask for the numbing agent ahead of time. If you do not want your entire mouth frozen with Novocaine, ask your dentist for a topical anesthetic instead. It will be enough to get you past the cleaning and clearing out of each deep gum pocket you have and leave you with the ability to talk, eat and drink normally after your appointment.

After the Procedure

Bleeding of the gums is completely normal. Your dentist will prescribe an oral antiseptic rinse which you will have to use consistently and probably for the remainder of your life if you want to shrink the gum pockets and keep your teeth. The rinse will also significantly decrease any risks for infection and the development of pus in your gum pockets, which in turn stops additional visits to your dentist for root canals. You will need to adopt a more serious oral hygiene regimen as well such that you are able to avoid any more deep cleanings in your future.