I work as a clerical assistant in a pediatric dental office, and I am commonly surprised by the number of children who are scared of the dentist. Many kids think that cleanings will be painful, and they believe they will be scolded for eating sugary foods. Children are also extremely frightful of the noises made by the water spraying tools and the suction devices. As adults, we know that dental cleanings are easy and free of pain. We need to impart this knowledge to our children so they know not to fear the dentist. I have provided blogs that will help you speak with your child about dental care. Good communication, trips to your own dentist, and online videos can assist you. So will good brushing techniques that will make your child proud to see the dentist. Enjoy my articles so you can help your child build oral care confidence.
When you go in for your annual or bi-annually cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will likely measure the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth. When gum tissue is deeper than a few millimeters, you could be at risk for gingivitis and gum disease. Read on to learn more about why gum pockets are a problem, what causes them, and how to treat the issue.
Why are Gum Pockets a Problem?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue in your mouth. If mild gingivitis is left unchecked, it could turn into periodontal disease, or gum disease. Gum disease is a big issue because bacteria deepens gum pockets so much that teeth can become loose and jaw bones can become damaged.
If you do a little research online, you'll also see that gum disease has been linked to other serious health conditions, like heart disease. Doctors aren't quite sure if there is causation between gum disease and other conditions; however, because bacteria can thrive in gum pockets, some professionals believe that these bacteria can make their way into your bloodstream throughout your body.
What are Some Causes of Gum Pockets?
It's important to eat a balanced diet and limit sugary or starchy foods. Gum pockets can develop when plaque develops on your enamel and in-between teeth, so it's important to brush and floss every day. However, don't go overboard with brushing. If you brush too hard or use a hard-bristled brush, then you could scrape and irritate gum tissue, which then could develop pockets.
If you smoke, then you could also be at risk for deep gum pockets. The chemicals in tobacco products make it hard for gum tissue to heal, and these chemicals can irritate oral tissues.
How Can Gum Pockets Be Treated?
Ask your general dentist about your treatment options. If your gum pockets aren't too deep, a regular cleaning with an ultrasonic scaler may do the trick. Some general dentists offer scaling and root planing, which is a deeper cleaning for bad gingivitis and periodontal disease.
During a scaling and root planing procedure, the dentist will clean gum pockets and remove bacteria below the gum line. This may sound painful, but your dentist will use a local anesthetic so you are comfortable during the procedure. Once bacteria has been removed, the dentist may apply an oral medication so the gum tissue heals quickly and doesn't get re-infected.
You may be a little sore after a deep cleaning, but the results are worth it. Don't let your gum pockets get too deep. If you haven't visited a general dentist in a while, make an appointment and have them use a periodontal probe to get the most recent gum tissue measurements.
For more information, you can reach out to dental professionals like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.