Periodontal surgery is commonly advised when gum disease progresses beyond its initial stage. This surgical procedure effectively eliminates bacteria and tartar around the teeth, reduces gingival pocket depth, restores damaged tissue, and halts the disease progression. Neglecting gum disease can have severe consequences, adversely impacting one’s smile, dental health, oral function, and overall well-being unless appropriate measures are taken. By undergoing proper surgical treatment and maintaining regular care, the risk of tooth loss, further deterioration of the supporting bone and soft tissues, and complications related to periodontal disease can be significantly reduced.
Gum disease primarily arises from inadequate or ineffective oral hygiene practices, leading to the accumulation of dental plaque—a sticky film colonized by oral bacteria. The presence of harmful bacteria and their byproducts triggers an inflammatory response in the gums, which is the body’s defense mechanism. Failure to resolve this inflammation results in tissue damage and the formation of periodontal pockets, spaces between the gums and teeth. As these pockets deepen, it becomes increasingly challenging to eliminate bacteria and the gaps between the teeth and gums widen. When the pocket depth surpasses what can be addressed through deep cleanings and conservative methods of care (5mm or more), gum surgery is recommended to cleanse and treat gum and underlying bone damage.
The goal of pocket reduction surgery is threefold: Firstly, it eliminates sub-gingival bacteria that reside beneath the gum line and on the roots of the teeth. Secondly, it halts any damage being done to the underlying bone and even reshapes affected bone. Lastly, it facilitates more effective oral hygiene by making it easier to clean both the teeth and gums. In the past, this surgical procedure involved flap surgery, where the tissue is surgically lifted away from the teeth and bone to allow for treatment before it’s sutured back into place. However, some practitioners now opt for soft tissue laser procedures to reduce pocket depth.