What are Periodontal Pockets? - Dr. Colin Richman

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What are Periodontal Pockets?

April 15, 2014

By: Dr. Colin Richman

When oral bacteria attack the gums, a variety of symptoms develop. They may be relatively benign, such as puffy or swollen gums, in the earliest phases. The issues become more serious as the condition develops. One prominent symptom of advanced periodontal disease is periodontal pockets.

Periodontal pockets develop when the gum tissue becomes so irritated that it begins to pull away from the teeth. Healthy gums, on the other hand, fit snugly against the teeth. These spaces give bacteria more opportunity to collect and do more damage. If gum disease is not treated promptly, bone loss and tooth loss can eventually occur.

When gum diseases advances to the point at which pockets have developed to a certain depth, the patient must seek treatment from a periodontist, a specialist who focuses on conditions that affect the gums and the underlying bone structures.

To reduce the depth of periodontal pockets, a periodontist may use an intervention known as LANAP, which stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure.

With LANAP, a periodontist uses an extremely thin laser to remove diseased gum tissue rather than conventional surgical instruments. In this way, LANAP can be a valuable tool to help anxious patients get the gum disease treatment that they need.

The laser also seals the tissue by facilitating the formation of a blood clot, which restricts further bacteria build-up.

Because LANAP does not require an invasive procedure, patients experience minimal discomfort and recover more quickly than they would with traditional gum surgery. In fact, many patients can undergo LANAP relying just on a local anesthetic.

Although LANAP often requires two sessions, this method still tends to be less disruptive to a patient’s routine than traditional gum surgery is.

If you have noticed spaces between your gums and your teeth, consult with our periodontal team to learn if LANAP may be an effective treatment for you. LANAP can be an important tool for restoring your oral health after gum disease.

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