Combating Gum Disease With Pocket Reduction Surgery

At any given time, there are billions of bacteria in your mouth — good and bad — and the presence of these tiny organisms is perfectly normal. When the balance starts to tilt in favor of bad bacteria, tooth-threatening issues like tooth decay and gum disease are clear and present dangers.

Gum disease is a progressive dental issue that affects millions of Americans. About 46% of adults aged 30 and older show signs of gum disease and severe gum disease affects 9% of adults

At Willow Glen Dental Specialists, our team prefers to tackle periodontal disease in its earlier stages, but through our comprehensive periodontal services, we’re equipped to handle the more advanced stages, too. And this is where osseous surgery, which is commonly referred to as pocket reduction surgery, can play an important role.

When bacteria sets up behind your gums

Your gums serve many purposes, the most important of which is to form a seal or barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from gaining access to all of the structures hidden below (or above) your gumline, including the roots, connective tissues, and your jaw bone.

When gum disease first starts, it creates inflammation around your gumline as bacteria try to get underneath — a stage called gingivitis. If these bacteria succeed, they can create larger pockets between your gums and teeth that not only harbor plaque, but make room for more bacteria to come in and eat away at the tissues. Left unchecked, the bacteria can erode your teeth and even eat away at your jawbone.

Thankfully, there are ways we can reverse this outcome through pocket reduction surgery.

What we accomplish through pocket reduction surgery

As the name suggests, our primary goal with pocket reduction surgery is to decrease the size of the bacteria-harboring areas in your gums. But we also accomplish a lot more than that.

During this osseous surgery, we make an incision in your gums and draw the tissue back so that we can clear out the plaque. Once we remove the harmful bacteria, we address any bone damage in the area. For example, we might smooth out uneven bone or, if there’s extensive damage, we might use bone grafts to restore lost structure.

Once we’re satisfied that we’ve created a good surface for your gums to adhere to, we draw your gums back against your teeth and secure them into position.

Rest assured, we use anesthetics during this two-hour procedure to keep you comfortable. And, when you go home, we provide you with complete aftercare instructions to ensure that healing is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Over the weeks following your pocket reduction surgery, your gums should heal quickly and reform a seal that will better protect your teeth, gums, and jaw.

For more information on pocket reduction surgery and whether you may be able to reverse the course of your gum disease with this treatment, we invite you to contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081. Or, if you prefer, you can book an appointment with us online.

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