Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, and periodontal disease are very common, and most people in the United States will battle the tartar and bacteria that lead to build up at the gum level. If left untreated, however, minor to moderate gingivitis can become advanced gum disease and more aggressive treatments will be needed to save the teeth
In cases where periodontal surgery is needed, gum tissue is almost always receded so that it no longer covers the entire tooth root or reaches high enough up on the tooth to attach well and maintain tooth stability. Teeth can become loose, and the goal of surgery will be to rebuild lost gum tissue on a clean foundation. Using a technique called flap surgery, our dentists will cut back areas of the gums needing restoration, and while the gum tissue is flapped back, the exposed parts of teeth can be deep cleaned and treated with bacteria-killing topical agents.
Once flap surgery is completed and roots have been debrided, the flaps are either sutured or stitched up to heal or a second surgical procedure may be necessary. If bone loss is advanced, flap surgery might include bone and tissue grafting as well.
What to expect:
Many patients have a fear of the dentist because they instantly assume “pain” when thinking about dentistry. In reality, the assumed pain is more mental than physical.
Prior to getting Gum Surgery, our staff will numb the general area with a topical anesthetic. This is done to slightly numb the area prior to receiving local anesthesia. Depending on the patient and the amount of cutting required, the Dentist will choose one of several local anesthetics to use. The Doctor will then administer 1 or more shots to the gum around the area where the procedure will be done. Typically the patient will feel a slight pinch in the area when getting the first shot, and if more shots are required, they are seldom felt as the area becomes numb quite quickly. Once the Dentist has verified that the patient is adequately numb, they will begin the surgical procedure. At this point the patient should not feel any pain, but if for some reason they do, they should let the team know immediately and more anesthetic will be administered.
After the procedure is complete the patient will still be numb for some time – so we advise patients not to eat until the numbness wears off as they can inadvertently bite their tongue or their lip by accident. Patients may feel a slight pain in the general area where the shot was given once the anesthetics wears off along with a possible dull pain where the surgical cuts were made along the gum line. This is completely normal and will go away within a few hours. Our Dentist may or may not write a script for pain medication depending on the extent of the surgery. This will help with any pain a patient may be feeling but if for any reason the patient remains in severe pain hours after the procedure, we advise for you to contact the office as soon as possible to speak with your Dentist. Typically after this procedure is completed, the Dentist will also prescribe a special oral rinse and possibly antibiotics to help with the heeling and any possible inflammation.