If a patient is suffering from the advanced effects of periodontal disease, there are some minor surgeries which may be used to reverse its damage and prevent a relapse. Chief among these is a gum pocket reduction. This procedure usually requires little preparation and can be done in the office using local anesthesia.
Gum pocket reduction targets the soft tissue immediately surrounding the teeth. In a healthy mouth, the gum pockets the teeth fit into are snug and stable. However, there is always room between the gum and the tooth for bacteria to get into, and where the resulting plaque can trap acid. As bone and soft tissue near the plaque dissolves, there is more room for bacteria, accelerating the process.
After a scaling and planing, Dr. Seier will want to close off this safe haven for plaque. Usually, a gum pocket reduction only requires that a flap to cut in the nearby healthy gum tissue, stretched across the pocket, and fastened with a suture. Sometimes a more complex gum graft may be necessary, but most likely this will only be the case if the damage is severe.