Sometimes the effects of periodontal disease create permanent changes in the tooth and gum structure that will cause issues in the future. Enlarged gum pockets between the tooth and the gum line are common after having advanced gum disease. Sometimes these gaps are cosmetic in nature and affect the appearance of the gums. More commonly, the gaps put the teeth at future risk for tooth and gum disease as they are just one more place that plaque and bacteria can collect. Pocket reduction surgery is designed to thwart the after-effects of periodontal disease and restore your mouth to a healthy state.
The goal of periodontal surgery is to gain access to the tooth root and to clean the damaged areas. Once the dentist can visually see the damage, it can be removed completely. Removing the plaque and decayed gum tissue leaves a pocket between the gum and the tooth. Sometimes the gum returns to its original position, but the pocket is still present. The pocket requires more frequent cleanings as the patient is unable to reach the pocket with regular brushing and flossing. Once the swelling from the periodontal treatment has subsided, the dentist may need to suture the gum to where the bone has resorbed. The goal is to create a space large enough so it can be reached through daily oral hygiene, but small enough that it is not a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria.