In a healthy mouth, there is usually a 2-3 millimeter pocket between the base of the teeth and the gums. Gum disease is caused by the formation of a layer of plaque over the teeth, which can harden into tartar and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
An infected gum can cause the pockets to become deeper. Osseous surgery, or pocket reduction surgery, is required to eliminate the bacteria and repair the damaged bone.
Purpose of Osseous Surgery
The main goal of pocket reduction surgery is to eliminate the gum pockets formed due to gum disease. Mild gum disease that has not yet reached the connective tissue or jawbone is known as gingivitis.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it may develop into periodontitis, which can damage the bone supporting your teeth. If gum disease and pockets are neglected, they can result in tooth loss.
Gum disease surgeries such as osseous surgery generally have a high success rate. Adhere to good oral hygiene practices, avoid tobacco consumption, and follow your periodontist’s suggestions to increase the effectiveness of the surgery.
The Surgical Procedure
Osseous surgery is typically performed by a periodontist and takes approximately two hours. Here is a brief overview of the pocket reduction surgery procedure:
Recovery from Osseous Surgery
Full recovery time after an osseous surgery takes 2-4 weeks. Follow your periodontist’s instructions and take the prescribed painkillers for a speedy recovery.
Some bleeding and swelling are normal after osseous surgery. Pain relievers can ease discomfort and mouth rinses can keep the area bacteria-free. Your periodontist may also prescribe antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection. Use an icepack against your cheek to keep the swelling under control.
Switch to a soft diet after your surgery. Steer clear of carbonated drinks and hard or sticky food items. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Do not use a straw to drink liquids until your mouth is fully healed, as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clots.
In addition to brushing, flossing and having soft foods, make sure you include an adequate amount of nutrients in your diet. Consume foods that are abundant in minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables can improve and maintain your gum health.
Sleep with extra pillows on your bed in order to keep your head elevated. This will reduce swelling and quicken healing. Whenever bleeding starts, bite down on a piece of gauze to exert pressure and halt bleeding. Abstain from smoking or drinking alcohol for a minimum of 7 days following surgery.
Make sure you rest well and avoid physical activity for the first few days after surgery. If you experience pain, swelling, or bleeding in your gums, schedule an appointment with us at Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry by calling us at 508-441-4154 today.