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When gum disease has advanced beyond the initial stage, periodontal surgery is often recommended to effectively remove bacteria and tartar from around the teeth, reduce gingival pocket depth, restore lost tissue as possible, and halt disease progression. It’s essential to keep in mind that gum disease is a progressive condition. If appropriate measures are not taken, gum disease continues to compromise the support of the teeth and have consequences to one’s overall dental health and well-being.
As untreated gingivitis evolves into more advanced stages of gum disease, periodontal pockets deepen, the bacteria become more difficult to remove, and the gaps between the surface of the teeth and gums get larger. When pocket depth increases to the point of being beyond the reach of deep cleanings and other conservative methods of care (5mm or more), gum surgery to clean and treat the damage to gums and underlying bone is typically recommended.
The good news is that with proper surgical treatment followed by improved oral hygiene, the chances of tooth loss, further damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting the teeth, and complications from health problems that are linked to periodontal disease can be decreased.
The goals of pocket reduction surgery are to accomplish the following:
In many cases, a periodontal procedure, which is known as flap surgery, is frequently recommended. During this procedure, the gums in the affected area are reflected away from the teeth and supporting bone. Now, the pocket and roots of the teeth can be thoroughly cleaned and supporting tissues recontoured as needed. When this step gets completed, the tissue flag gets sutured back into place. While this approach represents a tried and true method of care, in some cases, dental lasers can also be employed to treat periodontal disease.