What is Pocket Irrigation?

Pocket irrigation is a procedure routinely performed by periodontists and dentists as part of a dental deep cleaning. During pocket irrigation, the dentist will clean the “pockets” that form between the teeth and the gums as a result of periodontal inflammation. 

What are Gum Pockets?

When healthy, your gums adhere tightly to your teeth through different types of fibers, covering the entire root and a part of the tooth crown. If you don’t maintain a good oral hygiene routine and your dental health starts to erode, a sticky layer consisting of food debris and bacteria – dental plaque – adheres to the surface of the teeth. Further neglect results in the plaque hardening into tartar. You can brush and floss away a certain level of plaque. However, once tartar sets in, only a dentist or dental professional can remove it.

Both plaque and tartar provide an ideal environment for harmful bacteria, which release harmful toxins that destroy the fibers that attach your teeth to the gums and jawbones. As a result, your gums will start to detach from your teeth, creating spaces or “pockets” between the teeth and the gums. Without treatment, the toxins and bacteria will begin to destroy the bone that supports your teeth in their sockets. Eventually, your teeth become mobile and may ultimately fall out.

How is Pocket Irrigation Performed?

Pocket irrigation, also known as oral irrigation, is usually performed in combination with other periodontal procedures, such as professional deep cleaning, gum grafting, or a pocket reduction procedure. 

During a pocket irrigation procedure, the dentist will use a piece of handheld equipment that injects a powerful stream of water into the dental pocket. This water stream removes the plaque and tartar deposits from the teeth and the interdental regions. Once all your teeth are free of unwanted deposits, your dentist will apply an antibacterial agent to kill the remaining bacteria, and to prevent future re-infection. 

Can Pocket Reduction be Done at Home?

You can perform pocket irrigation as a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. In fact, when used correctly, a pocket irrigator can be less harmful to the gums for cleaning between your teeth and around your gums than dental floss. 

Different types of pocket irrigators are widely available. Consult your dentist regarding the brand and type of pocket irrigator that best suits your needs. 

When it comes to the health and beauty of your smile, you must start looking after your teeth and gums right now. Make sure you have a good daily dental routine and visit your dentist regularly.