Curettage is performed to debride the infected gum tissue lining of the pocket and with the use of chemicals the area becomes sterilized for a short period of time. This removes the bacteria and may allow some of the gum to re-adhere to the tooth as well as encouraging some shrinkage of the swollen tissue. This is a conservative procedure, designed to reduce the extent of periodontal surgery that may be necessary to eliminate the pocket depths that remain.
Curettage should be considered a minor procedure and discomfort is minimal afterwards. A local anesthetic is usually used for this procedure.