Pocket Reduction

Pockets cannot be kept clean by brushing and flossing alone. When pockets form in the gum tissue, plaque and tarter can accumulate. The bacteria causes inflammation of the tissue and further bone loss. Left untreated, the disease process will advance and may result in tooth loss.

In moderate to severe cases of periodontal disease, osseous surgery, or gingival flap surgery, is performed to reduce gum pockets. In this procedure, the gums are lifted away from the teeth to allow access for cleaning and smoothing of the tooth roots. The periodontist then contours the bone tissue and repositions the gums with stitches to minimize pockets where disease-causing bacteria can hide. A protective dressing may be placed over the area for up to a week to facilitate healing.

After a treatment of scaling, root planing, and gum surgery, the gum tissue is healthy and the pockets around the teeth have been reduced. With the reduction of the tissue, the teeth appear longer. The roots of the teeth are visible, and spaces are present between the teeth which were once filled with tissue. 

In individuals who do not display the gum tissue in a full smile, this may not be a concern. However, restorations are available for those desiring a more aesthetic appearance.