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GUM SURGERY: TYPES AND WHAT TO EXPECT

If you have a serious gum infection, known as periodontal disease, your dentist might recommend surgery. This procedure can:

  • remove bacteria from beneath your gums

  • make it easier to clean your teeth

  • reshape the bones that support your teeth

  • prevent future gum damage

Read on to learn more about types of gum surgery and what happens during periodontal surgery.


Types of Gum Surgery


1. Gingival Flap Surgery – If pockets are greater than 5 millimeters in depth, the periodontist would conduct this procedure to reduce the periodontal pockets that were noted in a patients chart. Most patients who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontitis would go through this procedure. The periodontist would cut the gum tissue to separate the gum tissue from the teeth, conduct a thorough deep cleaning with an ultrasonic scaling device as well as hand instruments to remove tartar, plaque and biofilm below the pockets.


2. Gingivectomy – This procedure is conducted to remove excess gum tissue that may be overgrown on the teeth to provide a better area to clean the teeth. The periodontist would numb the patients gum tissue and cut and eliminate the extra gum tissue in the mouth.


3. Gingivoplasty – This type of gum surgery is used to reshape healthy gum tissue around the teeth to make them look better. If a person has tooth recession where the gum is pushed away from the tooth, a gingivoplasty can be done. A gum graft can be done where the tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth (this is called a graft) and then stitched into place on either side of the tooth that is recessed.


What to Expect with Gingival Flap Surgery


Gingival flap surgery is the type often used to treat gum disease. If you’re scheduled to undergo gingival flap surgery, here’s what to expect:


Before the surgery


Before any gum surgery, you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area. Also, our periodontist in Norwalk, CT (or dental hygienist) will clean your teeth. You should expect your periodontist to ask about any medications and chronic health conditions that may impact the surgery.


During the surgery


The surgeon folds the gums back to form a flap in order to access the tissue below the gums. The infected tissue below and between the teeth is removed, and the surgeon then follows with tooth scaling and root planing to remove plaque and bacteria below the gum line. The scaling and planing will also smooth rough spots on the tooth roots that could promote recurrence of the gum disease.


After the surgery


The surgeon will put the gums back in place using stitches. The stitches may be dissolvable, or you may have to have them removed when you return for a surgery follow-up visit in seven to 10 days. The surgeon may also place a special surgical dressing called a periodontal pack, over the affected area.

Gum Surgery by Dr. Elad


Is Gum Surgery Painful?


Most people have only mild to moderate pain after surgery that can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you develop moderate swelling, try applying an ice pack to the area. And if your periodontist recommends antibiotics, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. There is some risk of bleeding and swelling after gum surgery. Contact our dentist in Norwalk, CT immediately if you experience problems.

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