Periodontal or gum disease occurs when an infection spreads to the deeper levels of the gums. If left untreated the infection damages the gum, bones and other supporting tissue of the teeth. Bone and gum loss could deteriorate to an extent where teeth get loose and start to fall out.
Periodontal disease cannot be treated non-surgically and the dentist will have to surgically clean out the bacteria from under the gums. Regeneration of the tissue also needs to be stimulated and this is sometimes done by grafting tissues from another part of the mouth.
During traditional surgery the patient is anesthetized and the dentist needs to cut a flap in the gum. The flap is gently held back to reveal the area around the tooth and the pockets of infection are cleaned out. The graft is then fitted to provide a framework for new tissue to grow in the area. The flap is then sutured back in place with dissolvable sutures.
Laser gum surgery is now gaining popularity as more studies are showing that it can effectively clean out pockets of infection safely. Laser periodontal surgery has also been shown to have a few advantages over traditional surgery and might be preferred by some.