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 gaining access to the roots of the teeth in order to remove dental plaque (bacteria) and tartar (calculus) that cause periodontal infections.
Periodontal infections cause a chronic inflammatory response in the body that literally destroys gum and bone tissues once they invade the subgingival area (below the gum line). Periodontal pockets form and deepen between the gums and teeth as the tissues continue to be destroyed.
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which, if left untreated, can eventually lead to teeth falling 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 to clean by the patient. The toothbrush and dental floss cannot reach to the bottom of the pockets, increasing the risk of further periodontal infections.
If you have any questions about pocket reduction surgery, please contact Dr. Guier.
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