3 Potential Dental Treatments For Deepening Gingival Pockets

Genetics and dental infections can cause the gum tissue surrounding the teeth to become looser. There is naturally a gingival pocket around the teeth that is normally shallow enough for a quick clean with your toothbrush. But the loosening of the tissue can cause those pockets to become deeper and deeper, which can start to expose the base and roots of your tooth. Left untreated, the deepened pockets can make your teeth loose and can make your gum tissue a breeding ground for further infections.

There are a few relatively simple treatments for deepening gingival pockets. It's important to keep regular appointments with your general or family dentistry professional to ensure that the problem is caught before the pockets cause any irreversible damage to your teeth.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing are a type of deep cleaning available at your dentist's office. The dentist uses a combo of handheld and ultrasonic tools to clean the surfaces of the teeth and gums and to perform a deep, thorough clean of the deepening gingival pockets.

If the pockets haven't overly stretched the tissue, it's possible that this cleaning alone will allow the pockets to gradually heal shut. The healing will occur because the inflammation, which was stretching the tissue, is no longer an issue and the elasticity of the tissue will take over. But deeper pockets will require more treatment following the scaling and root planing.

Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty

Severely deep pockets will need to be pulled tight and stitched into place around the bottom of the exposed teeth. But the stretched tissue will be too large and will require some trimming and potential reshaping in order to fit around the tooth properly. That's where the procedures gingivectomy and gingivoplasty can come in.

Gingivectomy refers to the dentist simply trimming away excess tissue to better fit the gums around the tooth before stitching. The procedure can include slightly trimming away excess tissue to make the gums look correct around the tooth.

If the gums need a lot of reshaping to look correct around the gums, then your dentist might perform a gingivoplasty. The dentist might need to splice in some donor tissue if too much of your gum tissue is damaged from infection to create a natural look around the teeth. 

It's important to keep all of your follow-up appointments to ensure that the gingival pockets are healing correctly and staying in place once the stitches dissolve. You might also need to go to the dentist for more frequent cleanings to ensure the problem doesn't happen again.