Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery is done to reduce the pocket or rift between the base of the teeth and the gum. It is also done to pull out damaged teeth, remove bad cavities and to remove the bacteria from the gum. A healthy gum should have 2- to 3- millimetre (mm) rift , sometimes less, between the base of your teeth and your gums. When bacteria and other plaques build up in your gum, the space between your gum and the base of the teeth becomes deeper than 5 millimetres. This can become deeper as more bacteria and plaques accumulate and cleaning will be difficult including deep dental cleaning.

This can lead to gingivitis. Further accumulation can lead to periodontitis or even loss of teeth. Periodontitis occurs when gum diseases develop when you have bad dental habits or other dental condition. Periodontitis can affect even the tissues and bones in the gum if not treated. 

Osseous surgery helps to reduce the pocket or rift between the base of the teeth and the gum. It is also done to pull out damaged teeth, remove bad cavities and to remove the bacteria from the gum. The procedure involves the dentist pulling back the infected gum flap and removes the infected bacteria and tissues. The damaged bone of the teeth are treated and the healthy teeth are restored.

Before osseous surgery is considered, your dentist will attempt to treat gum disease with treatments like root-planing and scaling. When these alternatives do not work, that is only when the surgery is needed.
Osseous surgery is recommended when the bacterial infection in the teeth continues spreading until it damages the underlying bone structure and expands the periodontal pockets to 5 millimetres or more.


You need to look a dental surgeon who is experienced in performing osseous surgery. There’s no limit to the food you eat and what you drink before the surgery. You can go home after the surgery as it does not take the whole day, at least 2 hours.

The procedure involves : 
• An anesthesia given to numb your gums and reduce pain and discomfort during the surgical procedure.
• The surgeon makes a small cut or incision on your gum. Your gums are folded back and the bacteria removed.
• Any areas with damaged, badly or irregularly shaped bone are smoothened. 
• If your bone is severely damaged, a technique known as periodontical regeneration may need to be implemented. These techniques include bone grafts and guided tissue regenerative membranes. 
• After that, your gum is sewn back and the area is dressed to avoid bleeding.
The recovery process does not take a long time, it takes at least few days and you can go back to your normal activities. 
However, there are some habits you can adopt to help you heal properly and lessen your recovery time.
• Avoid hard foods that will make your jaws and gums do a lot of work when you chew.
• Avoid smoking. This is because the blood clots that form will need enough time to heal to avoid becoming dry sockets. It is advised to avoid smoking for at least 2 weeks to a month.
• Do not use a straw. When you suck using a straw after dental surgery, the force used in sucking can dissolve the blood clots and lead to a dry cavity.
• Change the dressing regularly to avoid bacteria infestation.
• Ice packs and cold clean cloth can be pressed on the mouth side of the affected gum to reduce swelling and pain.
• Salt water can be used to rinse the mouth regularly.
• Avoid being hit on the mouth.
• Avoid drinking alcohol
• Do not blow balloons.
• Do not brush or floss to avoid making your gums bleed all over.


There are some potential risks and complications you can experience after the surgery.

Infection: After the surgery, you should not adopt bad dental habits. You should not brush 24 hours after the surgery but your doctor can recommend antibacterial mouthwash you can use. Not changing the periodontical dressing can also breed bacteria which can cause infections.

Cavities: When you treat your teeth with gum reduction surgery, you might develop cavities on your teeth. Go for dental check-up and regular dental cleaning to avoid this.

Sensitive teeth: Your teeth will become sensitive to hot or cold food. You will always need to allow your food cool down before eating.

Receding gum line: The teeth around the gum where the procedure took place might start to recede thereby making some of your teeth longer than others.

Tooth loss: You may loose some of your tooth to osseous surgery.


Before osseous surgery is considered, there are other dental techniques or methods that can be done to treat periodontitis. Some of them are 
Antibiotics: When the gum disease is still mild, some antibiotic drugs and mouthwash can be used to remove them from the teeth

Guided Tissue Regeneration: This is a technique used bacteria have damaged the bone structure. A special membrane is placed between the tissues and the bones around the tooth. This will help the damaged tooth to regrow.

Bone grafting: When gum diseases have destroyed the bones in your teeth, bone grafting can be used. Bone grafting involves a procedure where bones from other parts of your body like the hips or ribs are transplanted to your gums.

Scaling and root planing: The tartar and built-up plaque are scraped out by a dentist using a hand-held or ultrasonic scalper. This is deep cleaning dental procedure.

Soft tissue grafts: Tissues are taken from the roof of your mouth to replace damaged tissues in the gum. 


Mild dental gum diseases can be treated with medications, antibiotic mouthwash or other alternative ways.

Osseous surgery is only recommended when the gum has become severe and the pocket between the base of the teeth and the gum has become deeper than 3 millimetres. There are risks and complications associated with the surgery, so you might want to see your dentist to know your chances of having these risks. Also, after the surgery, be sure to follow the steps needed to care for the teeth.

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