What Are Periodontal Pockets?

Have you ever overheard your dentist and hygienist discussing the depth of your pockets? It’s a not a reference to how much your visit is going to cost, but rather a telltale sign of gum disease. When bacteria invade your gum tissue and cause an infection, it causes the tissue to pull away from your teeth and create a space known as a “pocket.” A gingival pocket is one of the first clues that you have gum disease, but if treated immediately there will be no damage to the surrounding connective tissue and alveolar bone. If you have periodontal pockets however, things have begun to get serious.

Las Vegas periodontal disease
Periodontal disease can be treated.

Gingival Pockets:

  • Have a depth of 1-3mm
  • Are a reaction to many different conditions but not necessarily periodontal disease
  • Can be mistaken for periodontal pockets if not diagnosed by a board-certified periodontist
  • Are completely reversible and usually don’t require surgery


Periodontal Pockets:

  • Have a depth of 4mm or greater
  • Gingival attachment fibers are irreversibly destroyed
  • Can lead to exposure of the roots of the tooth
  • Patients have a higher risk of abscess forming


Depending on the level of periodontal disease and the depth of your pockets, there are several treatment options available. Many of our patients have seen great results from treatments like LANAP and Pinhole Surgical TechniqueTM.


If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important to take care of it sooner rather than later. When left untreated, it will lead to tooth and bone loss as well as health issues in the rest of your body. At your first visit, we can evaluate the level of your periodontal disease, discuss a treatment plan as well as present our in-house financing options to help you cover the portion of your treatment costs not covered by your dental insurance. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.