Pocket Reduction In Silver Spring MD

Minor Osseous Surgery

Pocket reduction, sometimes called minor osseous surgery, is a surgical procedure performed by your dentist or periodontist to minimize the effects of gum disease. When plaque builds up on your teeth, the natural pockets around the base of the teeth become deeper, giving harmful bacteria access to the gums and jawbone. The pockets continue to grow deeper and bacterial infection spreads if left untreated. Over time, the teeth become so diseased they may have to be extracted.

What are the Stages and Symptoms of Gum Disease?

1. Bleeding Gums

For most people, the first indication of gum disease is bleeding gums when they brush or floss. You may see a pink tinge on your floss or toothbrush or when rinsing your mouth. Your mouth may bleed when biting into crunchy foods. Whenever you have bleeding gums, contact your dentist to be evaluated for gum disease.

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis causes swollen, painful gums. It may also contribute to chronic bad breath. Your gums may bleed or seep due to plaque buildup along the gum line. We can scale the plaque to halt and reverse the progression of gingivitis, provided you are vigilant about continued dental care.

3. Early Periodontitis

The third stage of gum disease is called early periodontitis. As with gingivitis, the gums are swollen and sore, but the plaque has hardened into tartar, contributing to rapid bone loss. Without treatment, early periodontitis progresses and may damage your jawbone.

4. Moderate Periodontitis

The fourth stage of gum disease is called moderate periodontitis and causes the gums to recede. They can be quite painful, and there may be an unpleasant discharge from the gums due to infection. Your teeth may begin to shift. Damage to the jawbone is inevitable and often leads to serious infections. If you have moderate periodontitis, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

5. Advanced Periodontitis

During the final stage of gum disease, you will likely lose some or all of your teeth without immediate intervention. The teeth have loosened, the infection has spread to the jawbone, and you are in chronic pain with advanced Periodontitis.

Periodontal (Gum) Pockets

One of the main indications of gum disease is the deepening of the pockets around the base of your teeth just below the gum line. You cannot see these pockets, but your dentist or a dental hygienist will find them during a routine exam or dental cleaning when the depth of the pockets is measured. The deepening of the pockets is due to infection that can spread to the gums and jawbone. Gingivitis can lead to more severe forms of periodontitis if left untreated.

Potential Consequences of Periodontal Pockets

Periodontal disease may lead to the destruction of the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place. This disease works on the same chronic inflammation model seen in systemic diseases, suggesting a link between chronic inflammation and systemic health conditions such as:

  • Heart disease and clogged arteries
  • Complications of diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Stroke
  • Premature birth
  • Risk of cognitive decline
  • cancer

Restoring Health

In the earliest stages of gingivitis, gum disease can be easy to treat with a thorough cleaning and the implementation of effective plaque control techniques.

When untreated gingivitis advances to periodontal disease, it becomes a chronic condition requiring advanced treatment to control it. Treatments may include more oral hygiene instructions, scaling & root planing, chemical debriding, or antibiotics using Perio Protect custom trays for at-home treatment. Implementing these techniques and a commitment from the patient has shown positive results in arresting the progression of periodontal disease.

Periodontal Pocket Reduction

When periodontal disease is advanced beyond the scope of scaling and root planing or custom trays, gum pocket reduction may be needed. This gum pocket treatment and or osseous surgery creates an environment conducive to easier maintenance by the patient while arresting the progression of the disease.

Pocket Reduction Surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can gum pockets be reversed?

Yes. In the early stages of gingivitis and gum disease, scaling, root planing, and good oral hygiene can help shrink the size of gum pockets.

Can gum pockets be reduced?

In advanced cases of periodontal disease, scaling and root planing may not be enough to shrink deep periodontal pockets. If the damage is severe, pocket reduction surgery is the only way to reduce the size of the pockets after cleaning and disinfecting. For advanced and complex cases, Dr. Tekle refers patients to a periodontist or gums specialist. The decision of what is best for the patient always drives whether the patient is treated in practice or referred out.

How long does it take to recover from pocket reduction surgery?

Instructions will be given depending on the treatment following gum pocket reduction. However, we always schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the health of your gums and ensure the treatment is successful.

If you have gum disease symptoms, please get in touch with our office at Elsabet H. Tekle, DDS Phone Number 301-384-7800 to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.