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Pocket reduction surgery (also known as Gingivectomy, Osseous surgery and Flap surgery) is a term that is used several different surgeries, all aimed at gaining access to the roots of the teeth in order to remove bacteria and tartar (calculus).
The human mouth contains hundreds of different types of bacteria at any given time. There are specific bacteria found in plaque under the gum line that cause the body to react with an inflammatory response that can ultimately lead to periodontal disease.
Periodontal infections cause a chronic inflammatory response in the body that destroys bone and gum tissues once they invade the area below the gum line. Gum pockets form and deepen between the gums and teeth as the tissue continues to be destroyed. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which, if left untreated, causes increased bacterial growth in gum pockets and can eventually lead to teeth falling out. Pocket reduction surgery is an attempt to alleviate this destructive cycle and reduce the depth of the bacteria-harboring pockets.