Understanding Gum Surgery Types
Periodontal surgery is a simple procedure that allows your oral surgeon to access your teeth below the gum line to clean them better. In actuality, periodontal surgeons clean the roots of your teeth. This involves making small incisions at the gum line allowing the separation of the gum from the tooth, creating a “flap” of tissue. This is commonly referred to as a “flap” procedure or “flap” surgery. Once the gums are opened, the roots of the teeth and the bone loss created due to the periodontal infection may be viewed. All plaque and calculus deposits are then removed, and the gums are then closed back and sutures.
Periodontal or “gum” surgery is called for when conservative non-surgical treatments are ineffective in completely eradicating periodontal disease. Luckily, periodontal surgery is a very simple and significantly effective technique to treat advanced periodontal problems.
Who’s a good candidate?
Persons with severe or advanced disease around their gums and the tissues that support their teeth are usually candidates for periodontal surgery.
If you have gum disease, your symptoms might include:
• gums that are swollen, red, or bleeding
• deep pockets that form between your gums and teeth
• lose teeth
• pain when chewing
• bad breath
• gums that recede or pull away from your teeth
Your dentist will let you know if you could improve your condition with periodontal surgery or may recommend more conservative treatment approaches if the level of your gum disease doesn’t warrant oral surgery.
If gum disease has damaged the bone surrounding your tooth root, your dentist might have to replace it with a graft. The bone graft can possibly be made from small parts of your own bone, a synthetic bone, or donated bone. This procedure helps prevent more tooth loss and could help promote natural bone regrowth.
Guided tissue regeneration involves placing a small piece of material between your bone and gum tissue to allow bone to regrow.
When gums recede, a graft can help restore some of the tissue you lost. Oral Surgeons remove a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth or use donor tissue to attach to the areas where tissue is sparse or missing. Sometimes, surgeons apply a gel which contains special proteins to the diseased tooth root. This can encourage healthy bone and tissue growth as well.
Since each case is different, it is not possible to predict with certainty which grafts will be successful over the long-term. Treatment results depend on many things, including how far the disease has progressed, how well the patient keeps up with oral care at home, and certain risk factors, such as smoking, which may lower the chances of success. Ask your periodontist what the level of success might be in your particular case.
Medications may be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planning, but they can not always take the place of surgery. Depending upon how far the disease has progressed, the dentist or periodontist may still suggest surgical treatment. Long-term studies are needed to find out if using medications reduces the need for surgery and whether they are effective over a long period of time.
Some studies, show that people with gum disease were more likely to develop heart disease or have difficulty controlling blood sugar. Other studies showed that women with gum disease were more likely than those with healthy gums to deliver early, low birth weight infants. But so far, it has not been determined whether gum disease is the cause of these conditions.
There may be other reasons people with gum disease sometimes develop additional health problems. For example, something else may be causing both the gum disease and the other condition, or it could be a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems are present together. More research is needed to clarify whether gum disease actually causes health problems beyond the mouth, and whether treating gum disease can keep other health conditions from developing. Meanwhile, it’s a fact that controlling gum disease can save your teeth– a good reason to care for your teeth and gums.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a top Oral Surgeon, visit our website at http://www.virginiasurgeons.org/charlottesville-oral-surgeons