Sometimes after scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) or during routine periodontal maintenance cleanings deeper gum pockets may persist or return. In many cases, pocket reduction surgeries, such as osseous surgery or open flap debridement, may be recommended to access these deeper areas for ease of cleaning at home and when you visit your dentist for routine cleanings.
During these procedures, your periodontist numbs the affected area with a local anesthetic and teases back the gum tissue to remove the diseased pocket lining and root surface before securing the tissue into place with sutures. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged underlying bone are smoothed to limit areas where pocketing can recur. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.