Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria which infect the periodontal lining of the gum. If not removed, this bacterial growth can spread and can begin to destroy the bone that supports the teeth. As bone is destroyed by the bacteria that is found on plaque and calculus, pockets form between the teeth and gums. As these pockets become deeper, it is almost impossible to clean the bottom of the pockets using toothbrushing and flossing techniques. If the pockets are not adequately cleaned, they will continue to deepen and more bone will be destroyed. This destructive cycle will continue and will eventually lead to tooth loss. The goal of all periodontal surgical procedures is to eliminate the pocket and to allow the patient to keep the gums and teeth clean using proper brushing and flossing techniques. While a surgical procedure, periodontal surgery is generally very well tolerated by patients and is performed under local anesthesia.
An incision will be made to allow us to gently pull the gum tissue away from the teeth. All calculus and plaque will be meticulously removed and all root surfaces will be smoothed. The gum tissue will then be sutured back into place eliminating the pocket. In many cases a protective packing may be placed to keep the area clean and to facilitate faster healing.
The suture material (stitches) generally will remain in the mouth for 7-10 days and then it dissolves spontaneously. Though the gums will be more sensitive immediately following the procedure, there will be a significant reduction in pocket depth and a vast improvement in the condition of the teeth and gums.