Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of dental and oral health problems. Once gum and tooth decay occurs, professional dental cleaning and treatment will be necessary to save the tooth and improve the condition of the gums. One such treatment is known as pocket reduction.



What is it?

Pocket reduction, also known as osseous surgery, is one of the types of dental procedures performed to treat dental conditions. The procedure is performed by a periodontist using local anesthesia. During the surgery, gum tissues are folded back so bacteria, tartar and plaque are removed. Any irregularities with the bone contour are then smoothened to allow more efficient reattachment of gum tissue to the bone. This will then facilitate pocket reduction.

In cases where severe irregularities in the bone and gums are present, the periodontist may perform periodontal regeneration using bone grafts, membranes and/or proteins that stimulate tissue growth. These procedures will help rehabilitate the gums and teeth and prevent decay.

After the surgery, most patients can often return to their normal daily routine after 24 hours, although others might take more time.



Why is it performed?

A dental pocket, known as a periodontal pocket, is the area formed beneath the gum where it meets the teeth. In a healthy mouth, gum tissue fits snugly around the visible base of each tooth. The area is extremely narrow but over time and with improper dental care, it may begin to fill with food debris and bacteria. This then leads to the formation of plaque, which can cause the destruction of supporting bone and tissue. Once this occurs, small pockets begin to form around the affected tooth. These pockets can grow deeper, providing more room for bacteria to grow and thrive, forming more pockets and destroying more bone and gum tissue.

As the condition progresses, it can lead to the inflammation of the gums. These may bleed easily during flossing or brushing and feel sensitive to mild stimulation from hot or cold food and drinks. Without proper treatment, bone may deteriorate, dental caries may develop and pus may form.



What happens during the procedure?

The periodontist makes a cut on the gums to remove excess tissue around teeth. This procedure also reveals the diseased bone and teeth underneath, making it easier for the periodontist to work. Once bacteria and plaque have been removed and the bone and teeth smoothened, the gums will be reshaped and repositioned in place to allow for better contact. Stitches are used to close any incisions.



Advantages of the procedure

The main advantage of pocket reduction is that it eliminates the source and cause of periodontal disease. It can significantly reduce the chances of developing severe dental health problems, infections and discomfort. The surgery can also help eliminate the issues associated with gum disease, including tooth decay, bad breath and toothache. It can help stop the progression of the disease and prevent future recurrence, provided proper dental care and hygiene is practiced. Once teeth achieve their healthy state, they become easier to clean and maintain.




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