Gums should be snug around the base of teeth so that the teeth can be anchored firmly and grow properly. When the gum does not conform properly with the tooth, gum surgery may be necessary. Conditions, such as prolonged or untreated gum disease, can cause the gums to separate from the teeth and form pockets where bacteria and decay can further cause deterioration. Left untreated, these pockets can lead to serious infections that can cause bone loss, which can lead to the loss of teeth.
Flap surgery is the procedure used to reduce the pockets. This procedure involves scraping away hard deposits (tartar or calculus) and reshaping damaged bone. The object is to reduce the size of the pocket and allow the tissue to firm up around the teeth.
For more information about dental implants or gum / flap surgery: