Re: Pocket numbers?
For periodontal disease, there are two basic criteria. First is pocket depth. Generally, up to 4 mm is normal. You can properly clean pockets up to 4 mm. 4 - 6 mm is deeper and usually will require scaling and root planing in order to get them clean and attempt to shrink the pockets down to an acceptable level. Often, an antimicrobial agent is placed. Greater than 6-8 mm requires periodontal surgert to reduce the pocketting level. 8+ mm usually means a hopeless tooth requiring extraction.
There are a number of factors that can influence the treatment planning decision of your dentist. A 3-4 mm pocket that bleeds indicates inflammation (a sign of onfection) and gingivitis. Treatment is indicated. A 4-5 mm (and sometimes even 6 mm) pocket that does not bleed may require no treatment since there is no inflammation present. Mobility of the teeth plays a factor in treatment options. A tooth with a 7-8mm pocket that is firm may respond favorably to treatment while one that is very mobile (with the same pocket depth) may require extraction.
Other factors play a role as well. If the patient is a smoker, then theyare more likely to develop periodontal disease and will not respond as favorably to treatment as a non--smoker. Same with uncontrolled diabetics.
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection. (Oral antibiotics will not cure periodontal disease since the medication will not get to the site of infetion.) The bacteria are normally present in the mouth and do not cause problems unless they are allowed to organize themselves. Organization occurs by allowing a particular tooth surface to go unclean. Not flossing is the number one reason, not brushung properly (allowing some areas to go uncleaned) is another, and pocket depth beyond 4 mm is a third. If you want to see the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine, get some disclosing tablets and after you finish, use them. If red still appears on any surface of your teeth, you've missed that spot.