The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria, which forms a sticky, colorless plaque on the teeth. If allowed to build up, the bacteria produce acids that destroy the bone and gum tissue that support your teeth.
In healthy patients, this gum tissue fits snugly around the teeth, surrounding them like a turtleneck sweater. In periodontal patients, this tissue is destroyed. Instead of fitting snugly, gaps or pockets form and become deeper. The deep pockets accumulate even more bacteria, which penetrates even deeper. As the cycle advances, the supporting tissue becomes so damaged the teeth may need to be extracted.
Pocket reduction surgery, known as osseous surgery, can put a stop to this vicious cycle. In this procedure, we pull back the gum tissue, remove the bacteria, then secure the gum tissue back in place. In some cases, irregular surfaces are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide, allowing the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.
Together with daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance, osseous surgery can help patients avoid extractions and keep natural teeth, as well as decrease the risk of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.