When we check for signs of gum disease, we use a thin, tiny ruler to measure the depth of these “gaps”, or “pockets”, along your gumline. This can give us an idea of how well your teeth and gums are doing healthwise. Healthy gums and healthy teeth have pockets that measure at 3mm or less, which is equal to slightly less than 1/8 in. However, at around 3mm, early stages of gingivitis (fancy name for the first progression of full-on gum disease) may appear: the swelling, redness, and sensitivity of gums may start becoming a bother. From there, the pocket deepens as the infection grows, slowly separating the tooth from the gum tissue. This is how the tooth becomes loose or how it eventually falls out; the tooth’s root is in serious danger!
Another thing to consider is that these acidic bacteria and their acidic waste (yes, their waste, as in feces!) can become trapped in this pocket between tooth and gums. The gums, most likely, are already pretty swollen, so any deep-cleaning is painful to begin with, which leaves the bacteria to continue multiplying and rotting your tooth. Getting an ozone cleaning will help out with this a little bit, but it’s always the price to pay for poor oral hygiene habits (…or the lack thereof).
Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles