When gum disease is left untreated, it can turn into periodontal infection. As a result of severe periodontal disease, pockets can develop between the teeth and gums over time. These pockets are often filled with plaque and unwanted bacteria. Gradually, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the affected teeth will need to be extracted.
In most cases, the depth of periodontal pockets can be reduced. By reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria, we can prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and help you maintain a healthy smile. However, eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care provider to clean, so it's important to have them reduced.