Pocket Reduction Surgery
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live, accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted.
Generally pocket reduction surgery is recommended to reduce pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.
During this procedure, the gum tissue is gently moved away from your teeth and the bacterial plaque and calculus are removed and cleaned before securing the tissue into place with small sutures. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
What are the benefits of this procedure? Reducing periodontal pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to maintain a healthy smile. Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it’s important for you to reduce them.
Reduced gum pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increases your chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decreases the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.