Pocket Irrigation

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which leads to gum inflammation, the recession of bone and gum tissue, and tooth loss if left untreated.  There are a variety of effective treatments and procedures available, including pocket irrigation, which can assist in treating the progression of the disease.

Pocket irrigation aims to cleanse plaque from the interdental (between teeth) and subgingival (under the gumline) regions of the mouth in order to prevent the colonization of harmful oral bacteria.  This procedure is also used to deliver antibacterials to the subgingival areas.

Reasons for pocket irrigation

Pocket irrigation, which is also known as oral irrigation, is a versatile dental treatment used for several different preventative purposes.  Pocket irrigation may be performed as part of a professional dental cleaning, or at home with a specially modified oral irrigator.

Here are the main ways in which pocket irrigation can be beneficial:

  • Interdental cleaning – Pocket irrigators blast plaque, food particles and other debris from between the teeth.  The removal of harmful materials and bacteria keep the gum pockets cleaner and shallower; thus helping the gum tissue remain healthy.

  • Halitosis prevention – Halitosis (or bad breath) is generally a result of old food particles between the teeth, and tooth decay.  A toothbrush or dental scraper alone may not be able to reach into the depths of the gum pockets, but water jets can flush out food particles and help clean above and below the gumline.

  • Subgingival cleaning – Pocket irrigators have a rounded tip which eliminates the risk of tissue damage while cleaning under the gumline.  The side port opening facilitates extensive cleansing by flushing out bacteria, particles and toxins from below the gumline.

  • Antimicrobial application – Antimicrobial substances have proven effective for eliminating and preventing some strains of harmful oral bacteria.  Antimicrobial substances can be combined with water, or used as a stand-alone treatment for successful pocket irrigation.

What does pocket irrigation treatment involve?

Pocket irrigation is generally performed in combination with other dental treatments; for example, as part of a professional dental cleaning or in combination with pocket reduction surgery.

In the case of a pocket reduction surgery, the tartar and subgingival plaque will be removed with special scaling and root planing instruments.  When the pockets are free of debris, an antimicrobial agent may be applied using an oral irrigator.  This will help reduce harmful oral bacteria which still remain in the pockets.

During a deep cleaning procedure, a pocket irrigator may be used after scaling and root planing to cleanse the pockets.  Again, an antimicrobial agent may be applied to help reduce subgingival oral bacteria.

Pocket irrigation can be performed at home as part of the daily oral routine using a water jet or water pick.  Flushing the interdental area with water is less harmful to soft tissue than dental floss, but should not be used as a substitute for professional dental cleaning.

If you have any questions about pocket irrigation, cleaning your teeth, periodontal disease and treatment, please ask your dentist.

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Testimonials

Dr. Hekmat's chairside manner is something that should be cloned, and all young dentists and doctors should be able to see the tender insight that this man gives his patients. Dr. Hekmat is one of the nicest, most skillful, most dedicated men I have ever met. I can't believe I was so lucky to have found him in such a huge, busy metropolis as Los Angeles.

John Burbank, CA

Dr. Hekmat has been my trusted family dentist for many years, not only taking care of me--but my wife, sister, mother, brother-in-law and mother-in-law, too! From the warm smiles that greet me when I walk in the door to the compassionate, skillful and concerned care that Dr. Hekmat and his staff provide, my visits to his office are always like visiting a member of the family. ...And I don’t want to forget to mention that I appreciate the fact that in busy Westwood, Dr. Hekmat still provides completely free, validated parking. That’s no small feat in my part of town!

Louis Santa Monica, CA

Dr. Hekmat and his team are true professionals. He is kind and always has time to answer ALL of my questions and concerns. I began visiting him after a a friend referred to me several years ago and I have not visited any other dentists since getting work done with him because he continuously provides me and my family with excellent work. I have had a root canal, crowns, bonding, whitening and removal of amalgam fillings with him and I could not be happier with his work.

He is also totally available for emergencies, something other doctors shirk at. I was on my way to LAX when my front tooth (it was being prepped for a root canal) totally came off, I panicked, called him and drove myself to his office within a hour he had me all patched up.

He never tries to sell you anything, he and his staff know my name and always make me feel welcome and calm the anxiety that comes with getting dental work done.

Lizzie West Los Angeles, CA

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