Pocket irrigation is one of the best treatments to combat gum disease. It cleans plaque out from between your gums and teeth to keep your mouth healthy and free from bacteria.
It’s important to consistently practice proper oral hygiene to avoid gum disease, which is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. It's irreversible when allowed to progress, so it's important to stay on top of it!
Learn more about the pocket irrigation procedure and how it can give you a healthier smile!
What is Pocket Irrigation?
Pocket irrigation, often called dental irrigation, uses a thin stream of water to rid plaque from under your gums. It is typically done using a syringe, but can also be done using a machine.
Pocket irrigation usually starts with flushing the pockets with water, then using an antimicrobial solution to remove any remaining bacteria.
It's one of the most common periodontal treatments for gum disease. The deep cleaning you get with pocket irrigation prevents gum disease from getting worse, and gets rid of harmful bacteria you can't reach with regular brushing and flossing.
What are Gum Pockets?
Gum pockets are spaces between your gums and teeth that are not connected.
When someone is suffering from gum disease, these pockets become filled with tartar that's impossible to remove on your own. This causes the gums to separate from the teeth, which just leads to even more bacteria buildup and, eventually, tooth loss.
To detect early signs of gum disease, a dentist measures the depth of your gum pockets.
Healthy gums and teeth barely have any pocket space. However, if you don't keep up with a good oral hygiene routine, plaque will build up. This increases the depth of your gum pockets, and the buildup of plaque, to the point where only a dentist can remove it.
Dental Irrigation Procedure
Dental irrigation is a relatively simple procedure aimed at cleaning out bacteria from below your gum line.
Here's how the dental procedure works:
Your dentist will start by preparing either a syringe or irrigation machine by adding water, and potentially a cleaning solution depending on their methodology. No matter the tool being used, it will contain a thin, rounded tip to reduce the risk of damage to the gums.
They will then insert the end of the tip into each gum pocket, carefully squirting the solution (usually water or saline) into your pockets.
Then, an antimicrobial solution is squirted into your pockets in the same way.
This process is repeated until all remaining bacteria have been removed from your gum pockets.
What is the Purpose of Pocket Irrigation?
The purpose of pocket irrigation is to keep your gums and teeth clean so they can remain healthy, and to stop gum disease from progressing.
Gum disease is not something to take lightly. There are multiple stages of gum disease, each with its own level of severity and recommended treatments. Pocket irrigation is meant to treat mild forms of gum disease.
Who Can Benefit From Pocket Irrigation?
Anyone can benefit from pocket irrigation. It’s a great way to clean below your gum line and between your teeth.
Pocket irrigation is sometimes used in dental offices as part of standard cleaning but is usually reserved for cleansing after scaling and root planing.
In addition to often accompanying scaling and root planing, pocket irrigation can help with bad breath. Halitosis, or bad breath, is caused by bacteria breaking down food particles stuck between your teeth and below your gums. Dental irrigation removes trapped food particles, getting rid of the source of bad breath!
Can I Do Pocket Irrigation at Home?
There are several consumer products available for you to do pocket irrigation at home.
However, they generally aren’t as effective as professional irrigation. While you can purchase almost identical equipment as what you would find in a dental office, you have to know what you are doing to get the same benefits. You also risk damaging your gums in the process.
A safer and easier solution is to invest in a water flosser. They aren’t able to clean as deep as the special tip used by professionals, but work better than just brushing.
It is worth noting that while water flossers achieve similar results as traditional floss, we don’t recommend them as a replacement for flossing.
Pocket Irrigation Treatment in Fremont, CA
If you've been diagnosed with gum disease (or think you might have it), pocket irrigation is a great way to get rid of harmful bacteria. Contact our dental office in Fremont, CA to schedule an appointment for pocket irrigation today!