If nonsurgical treatments can't reduce pocket depth, surgery may be needed. Surgery on gum and bone reduce pocket depth and save a tooth to teeth. It also allows the dentist to remove tartar deep below the gumline. In some cases, pocket reduction surgery is combined with regenerative procedures.
Pocket reduction begins with flap surgery. The gum is separated from the tooth and later reattached in a new position. In most cases, osseous surgery is also performed. This involves reshaping and smoothing the bone. After treatment is complete, the gumline will most likely be lower, leaving more of the tooth exposed. If the root is exposed, ongoing treatment with fluoride or another material be needed to reduce sensitivity.