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The Basics of Gum Surgery

Dentists and Dental Procedures

Gum surgery is one of the treatments available for patients suffering from advanced forms of gum disease, such as periodontitis. While it is often possible to provide treatment for gum disease without resorting to gum surgery, the more gum disease advances, the more difficult it is to treat. If you have tried non-surgical treatments for gum disease without success, you may be a good candidate for gum surgery. However, only a periodontist—a dentist specializing in gum diseases—can diagnose and treat your gum issues properly, so you should consult with a dental professional if you are suffering from gum disease.

Types of Gum Surgery

Following are some of the most common types of surgery for gum disease a periodontist performs to repair the damage caused by severe forms of periodontitis:

  • Gingivectomy: removes and reshapes loose, dead gum tissue to get rid of pockets between your teeth and gums.
  • Flap procedure: cleans out the roots of infected teeth and repairs bone damage that gum disease causes.
  • Tooth extraction: a periodontist may need to remove your tooth if periodontitis has severely loosened or damaged it. If the procedure is somehow complicated or risky, the periodontist may have an oral or maxillofacial surgeon do the extraction.
  • Soft-tissue graft: moves healthy gum tissue from one part of your mouth to another.
  • Guided tissue regeneration: a periodontist places a special lining between your gums and bone. This lining helps your bone grow back and helps your gums reattach to the bone.

Successful Gum Surgery

For gum disease surgery to be successful, you need to do the following to keep gum disease from returning:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: brush twice daily, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly for professional teeth cleanings.
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups: once you have had gum disease surgery, you should visit your dentist every three or four months for follow-up appointments.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco: tobacco decreases your body’s ability to fight infection and can delay the healing process after surgery.

Gum surgery is one of the main treatment options for patients suffering from the advanced stages of periodontitis. While often a last resort, surgery for gum disease can help your body repair the damage periodontitis has done to your gums and jaw bone and can help you have healthy gums again. If you are suffering from any type of gum disease or discomfort, you should consult with a dental professional immediately to prevent the onset of gum disease.

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