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Gum Surgery: Periodontal Surgery Types, Procedure and Recovery
Your gums are the foundation of your teeth. Your dentist might prescribe periodontal surgery or otherwise known as Gum surgery if you've developed a severe gum infection (Periodontal Disease). These infections are mainly caused by an increase in bacteria that are responsible for generating plaque. Gum Surgery aims to treat this disease by eliminating disease-causing bacteria from beneath the gums and reshaping the bones that support your teeth to restrict future gum damage.
Gum surgeries can also be cosmetic in nature. They are performed in situations as listed below;
Gum recession or sensitivity of teeth
Excess showing of gums or Gummy Smile
Dark pigmentation of gums
This article takes you through what people can expect from Gum Surgery, the conditions it has the potential to treat, and what the potential post-operative recovery period could be.
Who needs Gum surgery?
Periodontal surgery is required when the area around the gums and the tissues that support the teeth are severely infected. Gum surgery may also be needed when treating conditions like gingivitis or periodontitis.
The symptoms of Gum disease includes:
Gaps start developing between teeth and Gums
Dentists generally decide if one needs a periodontal surgery or not based on the severity of the symptom. A thorough clinical examination along with an OPG x-ray is usually helpful at the time of the consultation.
Dentists advise conventional treatment approaches in case the infection isn't too bad.
Please discuss the medications you take with your dentist. Your dentist may want clearance from your general physician in case of any co-morbidities. It is also recommended not to smoke or drink alcohol at least a couple of days before the surgery and a week after the surgery.
Some patients may be prescribed antibiotics prior to the procedure to reduce the possibility of postoperative infection.
In case you choose to do the surgery under conscious sedation, It is recommended to bring an accompanying person. Post-surgery, the anaesthesia, sedation, and other medications received during the procedure might result in dizziness and a semi-conscious state of mind, making it more challenging for the patient to be on their own.
Types of Gum Surgical Options
There are several surgical options available to treat gum disease. The appropriate surgical option is ultimately determined by the dentist post analyzing the patient's condition.
In Flap surgery, surgeons perform minor cuts on the gum and hoist a slice of infected gum tissue. Later, tartar and bacteria are removed from the gum and tooth. The gum is then sutured again, ensuring the tissue firmly wraps around the teeth. As the cut heals, it feels more comfortable and becomes easier to brush teeth and clean gums.
Bone Grafting is considered by dentists when gum infection has infected the bone enclosing the tooth root. In this case, the bone has to be replaced with a graft made from small parts of either the patient's bone or donated bone or, sometimes, if needed, also synthetic bone. This method helps promote natural bone regrowth and also prevent tooth loss.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
This procedure particularly aims to regrow the bone by placing a tiny substance between the bone and gum tissue.
Soft Tissue Grafts
Soft tissue grafts can help restore some of the tissue lost when gums recede. Dentists remove a thin slice of tissue from either the roof of the mouth or donor tissue. The tissue slice is then attached to the regions where tissues are missing.
Depigmentation procedures are done to eliminate dark gums in the front areas of your mouth. These do have a tendency to recur over time and are usually event-based procedures and are advisable a few months before any major life event (marriages etc)
The recovery would depend completely upon the severity of the disease. Other factors surrounding your overall health & the kind of procedure that has been done also has an effect on your recovery. For a healthy recovery, one must follow all the instructions given by the dentist.
Minor bleeding & discomfort are typically expected after any dental surgery. You can resume normal activities after a day of rest post-surgery.
Avoid smoking as it affects the healing process. It can affect the body & should not be consumed as long as possible after the periodontal procedure.
The use of any particular mouth rinse or antibiotic should be taken as per your dentist’s recommendation. One must be careful while brushing or flossing in certain areas of the mouth until those parts have healed.
In most cases, doctors recommend the consumption of soft foods for a specific period after the procedure. A few items may include:
The cost depends on the type of procedure & severity of the disease. There could be an additional cost if bone grafts need to be used during surgery.
In any circumstance, it is not suggested to avoid the problem as prolongment can lead to more complex & expensive procedures in the future.
Healthy gums are required to maintain your overall wellness. Avoiding the pain temporarily should never be an option. Going for periodontal surgery is the best option to prevent further gum damage & loss of a tooth. Research has proven that gum health is intricately linked to overall health, especially of the heart. Individuals with healthy gums are less likely to develop other health problems, such as:
You can always get in touch with the team at Dr Kumarswamy’s Dental Clinic to maintain healthy gums.
Visit Dr Kumarswamy's Dental Clinic regularly to attain excellent oral hygiene and ensure your teeth last for life.
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