Pocket reduction surgery is also known as gingivectomy, osseous surgery, and flap surgery. It is a procedure that opens access to the teeth roots in order to remove bacteria and tartar.
Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to teeth and contains bacteria that produce acids that lead to demineralization of tooth surfaces. This ultimately leads to gum disease. Once gum disease begins, inflammation causes gum and bone tissues to deteriorate. Gum pockets form between the gums and teeth. As gum disease progresses, the bacteria colonization in gum pockets can lead to loss of teeth. Pocket reduction surgery aims to halt this situation and to reduce pocket depth. It is a common procedure which eliminates bacteria, reduces inflammation and saves teeth.
Reasons for pocket reduction surgery
Reducing spread of bacteria: Oral bacteria has been linked to many serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It can travel from the mouth to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. It is important to reduce oral bacteria in order to decrease the risk of secondary infection.
Stopping bone loss: Inflammation caused by oral bacteria leads to destruction of bone tissue. When the jawbone becomes affected, teeth lose their secure anchor. Once teeth become loose, they may need to be extracted.
Promotes home care: When gum pockets deepen, it is difficult for the patient to keep them clean. The toothbrush and dental floss cannot reach the bottom of the pockets and the risk of further gum infection is increased.
Enhances appearance: Pocket reduction surgery ends the progression of gum disease and alleviates problems such as brown gums and rotten teeth.
Pocket reduction treatment
After a thorough visual exam and evaluation of x-rays, Dr Yash will assess the condition of the teeth, gums, and underlying bone before recommending pocket reduction surgery. The surgery can be performed under local or general anesthetic. The gums will be pulled away from the teeth and the tartar and bacteria will be removed. Usually scaling and root planing are required in order to fully remove tartar from the tooth root. An antimicrobial agent is applied to eliminate any remaining bacteria, soothe irritation and help the tissues to heal. Finally the gum is sutured with tiny stitches that are left in place for about a week. The gums may be sensitive immediately following the procedure, but there will be a significant reduction in pocket depth and your healthy teeth and gums will be restored.
If you have any questions or concerns about pocket reduction surgery, please call or contact our office.