Our team at Toothworks knows that periodontal surgery may sometimes be needed to treat diseases and conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Today, our dentists at Toothworks The Boardwalk Dental explain the conditions gum surgery can treat and the different types of surgeries available.
What conditions can gum surgery treat?
The mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) causes redness, bleeding and swelling in the gums. With professional treatment, a dentist can reverse the condition and prevent bone damage and tooth loss. Periodontitis causes the gums to separate from the teeth, leading to pockets that trap bacteria, which results in infection.
With this procedure, we aim to repair damage caused by gum disease by:
- reducing the gum gap between teeth
- preventing tooth loss
- destroying bacteria to inhibit infections
- regrowing damaged tissues and bones
- reshaping the jaw to lower the risk of bacterial growth (bacteria usually grows and multiplies in bone crevices)
Types of Surgical Procedures
Before dental surgery, the gums may be cleaned thoroughly by a dentist. With deep scaling, we can remove tartar and bacteria from teeth and gums. This can be done by a dentist. Some people have their tooth roots smoothed by a process called root planing, which means tartar can build up in fewer places and that less tartar will need to be removed.
Here is a list of periodontal surgeries:
This procedure eliminates tartar buildup by lifting the gums away from the teeth. It's especially beneficial for those who have tartar deposits in their deep pockets. After that, the gums will be stitched back into place to fit around the teeth. The bone may need to be reshaped during this procedure.
When a person's tooth is damaged or destroyed, they may require a bone graft, which is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the damaged bone with new bone. The goal of bone grafting is to keep the tooth in place and aid in its regeneration. This bone could be the person's own, a synthetic bone, or a donated bone.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
To prevent the gum from growing abnormally, a small piece of mesh is placed between the person's gum and bone during this procedure.
A depressed gum line is caused by gum tissue loss and may necessitate soft tissue grafting to prevent the risk of additional damage. During this treatment, a dental surgeon often takes tissue from one portion of the body and reattaches it to the location where the gum has receded. The tissue usually comes from the roof of the mouth and covers any exposed roots.
Some dentists may use laser treatment to shrink pockets and repair damaged connective tissue, while others use protein-based gel to encourage bone and tissue development. However, bear in mind that there is no current research that completely supports laser treatment.
What happens during surgery?
The majority of gum surgery operations take about 2 hours to complete. To reduce the danger of infection, the dentist uses sterile equipment, like tools and drapes. In some situations, the dentist will require the patient to be asleep or semi-asleep for the operation. At times, the operation is as simple as using a local anesthetic to numb the gums.
Some patients will need pain relievers in the days following gum surgery, but a dentist will discuss any prescribed medications with them before they leave the office or surgical facility. Recovery timeframes will vary depending on the degree of the treatment and how long it takes the person to recover.
Following oral surgery, a person's gums and teeth should mend, tighten, and grow tougher and stronger. The dentist will likely make an appointment for you to return to the clinic in 1 to 2 weeks. Some patients may have dental sensitivity to hot or cold conditions, which can be alleviated by using desensitizing toothpaste.