Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket reduction surgery (also known as gingivectomy, osseous surgery and flap surgery) is a collective term for a series of several different surgeries aimed at making the roots and affected areas more accessible for the patient to clean.
Plaque and calculus (tartar) cause periodontal infections and a chronic inflammatory response in the body that literally destroys bone and gum tissues once they invade below the gum line and between the teeth (where most people do not floss). Gum pockets form and deepen between the gums and teeth as the tissue continues to be destroyed.
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which, if left untreated, causes massive bacteria colonization in the gum pockets and can eventually cause teeth to fall out. Pocket reduction surgery is an attempt to alleviate this destructive cycle, and reduce the depth of the bacteria-harboring pockets.
Reasons for the pocket reduction surgery
Pocket reduction surgery is a common periodontal procedure which has been proven effective at eliminating bacteria, reducing inflammation and saving teeth. The goals of pocket reduction surgery are:
Reducing bacterial spread – Oral bacteria has been connected to many other serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Oral bacteria can travel to various parts of the body from inside the bloodstream and begin to colonize. It is important to decrease bacteria in the mouth in order to reduce the risk of secondary infection.
Halting bone loss – The chronic inflammatory response induced by oral bacteria leads the body to destroy bone tissue. As the jawbone becomes affected by periodontal disease, the teeth lose their rigid anchor. When the teeth become too loose, they may require extraction.
Facilitate home care – As the gum pockets become progressively deeper, they become incredibly difficult for the patient to clean. The toothbrush and dental floss cannot reach the bottom of the pockets, increasing the risk of further periodontal infections.
Enhancing the smile – An oral cavity that is affected by periodontal disease is not attractive to the eye. In fact, smiles may be marred by brown gums, rotting teeth and ridge indentations. Pocket reduction surgery halts the progression of gum disease and improves the aesthetics of the smile.
If you have any questions about pocket reduction surgery or treatment for periodontal disease, please contact our practice.