2 Dental Surgeries For Gum Disease

Health & Medical Blog

If you suffer from a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis and have not been able to get the disease under control with regular root planing and scaling treatments, antimicrobial mouthwash, and/or antibiotic treatment, then you should learn about the various forms of dental surgery that can help periodontitis sufferers. While some of these surgeries help prevent the progression of the disease to prevent future damage to your teeth and gums, others actually help reverse the dental tissue damage that uncontrolled periodontitis may have already caused. 

Read on to learn about two common surgery types that can be used to treat periodontitis and the bone damage it can cause. 

1. Flap Surgery

Periodontal flap surgery can be performed before periodontitis has caused permanent damage to teeth and gums. This surgery removes plaque and bacteria that has become too deeply embedded under gum tissue to be removed with traditional root planing and scaling procedures. After plaque and bacteria are removed, periodontitis is often easier to control .

To begin a flap surgery procedure, a dental surgeon first numbs gum tissue with a local anesthetic. Then, small incisions are made in the gum tissue to create flaps that the dental surgeon can lift to expose the bacteria-covered tooth roots and bone. After each flap is made and lifted, the dental surgeon removes bacteria and tartar from the exposed tooth root that gum tissue once covered. 

Next, the dental surgeon may smooth and reshape the roots and jawbone to eliminate any cracks and crevices where new bacteria can easily grow. Finally, gum tissue flaps are sutured back together snugly against teeth to help eliminate gum pockets where additional plaque and bacteria once accumulated. 

While flap surgery alone may not completely cure periodontitis, it helps other gum disease treatments, such as antimicrobial mouth rinses, work more effectively to help control the disease. 

2. Guided Tissue Regeneration 

If severe periodontitis has already led to jawbone damage, then a surgery type called guided tissue regeneration (GTR) can help restore some of this lost bone tissue to prevent future tooth loss. A guided tissue regeneration procedure is often performed after flap surgery, yet before gum flaps are sutured back together.

To begin GTR, bone grafts are placed in areas where periodontitis has led to permanent bone loss. Then, a special membrane is placed between gum tissue and the bone underneath to keep the two tissue types separated during the post-surgery healing process. Finally, gums are sutured back into place against the teeth on top of the special membrane.

Keeping gum tissue and bone tissue seperated with a membrane during the healing process prevents fast-growing gum tissues from interfering with the body's natural bone healing process that takes place much more slowly. 

If you suffer from periodontitis and have struggled to get the disease under control with non-invasive treatments, then ask your dentist about dental surgery that can help you get this severe gum disease under control and help reverse bone damage it has caused. 


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