What You Should Know About Gum Surgery
Costly and potentially invasive, gum surgery treats different types of advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis. The details can differ for each patient, depending on the specific type of gum disease, the rate of its advancement, and the current state of gum tissue and teeth. Scheduling regular dental checkups is imperative to the prevention of gum disease, as initial symptoms may be painless and only identifiable by your dentist.
While you may be suffering from mild gum disease, commonly called gingivitis, it will not often require surgery. If allowed to advance, however, the damage to the mouth and price of treatment can increase considerably.
While advanced dental problems may require gum surgery there are possible alternatives:
• Antibiotics and Professional Cleaning: Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque, the bacteria-rich film teeth and gums accrete when chewing food. Because of this, antibiotics can help relieve mild gum disease, though proper oral hygiene is required for continued prevention. As plaque builds up, it can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed by standard brushing, hence the need for regular, professional teeth cleaning.
• Scaling and Root Planing: Essentially a heavy-duty cleaning. Scaling and root planing requires local anesthetic and is a nonsurgical procedure. As plaque and tartar build up, they can form on teeth and even above the gum line. This requires the scaling, or scraping away, of the plaque under gum tissue. Plaque and tartar can also build in decayed, rough patches of the tooth root. Root planing smooths these areas, discouraging regrowth of plaque and allowing the tooth to reattach to gum tissue. Scaling and root planing may also be performed as preparation for gum surgery.
Types of Gum Surgery
Actual surgical procedures differ depending on diagnosis. The exact procedure best for you will require consultation with a Serene Dental Care professional. Here are some of the most common ones.
• Grafts can replace bone and/or soft tissue lost as a result of periodontitis.
• Flap surgery and pocket reduction surgery, a more extensive form of root planing, involves lifting back the gums, smoothing the teeth to inhibit plaque buildup, and replacing the gums in such a way as to reduce any space between teeth and gums where bacteria might thrive.
• Bone surgery may be performed in conjunction with flap surgery to smooth damaged bones around the teeth.
Proper diagnosis of gum disease will require the expertise of one of Serene Dental Care’s dental professionals. If you are worried that you may have gum disease, check to see if any of these symptoms apply to you.
Mild Gum Disease (Gingivitis):
• Red, sensitive, or swollen gums
• Frequent bleeding after brushing or flossing. This usually occurs because brushing and flossing are not performed often enough.
Advanced Gum Disease (Periodontitis):
• Receding gums, causing an extremely toothy smile
• Frequent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
• Teeth become loose as gum tissue decays
• Secretion of pus from the gums
What You Can Do
As with most dental problems, you can help prevent them by brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly. If you have any further questions, Serene Dental Care will be happy to answer them. Please Contact Us to speak to a dental professional or schedule a checkup.