Inherent in the process of periodontal bone loss (periodontitis), is the loss of supporting bone from around the teeth resulting in the formation of periodontal pockets. As the disease process progresses, these pockets become deeper, providing more places to retain bacterial plaque and food debris. As the deeper pockets collect even more bacteria, the destructive pattern accelerates resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth can become mobile and need to be extracted.
The goal of reducing the pocket depth is to create areas that can be thoroughly cleaned and stimulated during cleaning procedures both at home and in the dental office. This results in the disruption of the destructive process of periodontitis. While the bone loss that has occurred prior to surgical care is not reversible, pocket reduction surgery can assist in enhancing cleaning and maintenance procedures, leading to retention of the teeth.