Gum disease is a relatively common dental disease and it can be reversed. However, when it advances to periodontitis, your teeth may be in danger. At this stage, the ligaments and the bone tissue that surround the teeth are destroyed, increasing the risk of losing your teeth.
In the early stages, our dentist in Spring Hill will use a deep cleaning, scaling, and root planning to reverse the gum infection. But, when these non-surgical treatments are not successful, then gum surgery may be done. Periodontal flap surgery is one of the common gum treatments done.
Periodontal flap surgery is a procedure done to treat and repair gum pockets. What are gum pockets? As the gum infection begins to ‘eat’ away from your gum tissues, the gums detach from the teeth.
This causes pockets are tiny and are not easily cleaned. They trap food particles and provide the perfect environment for disease-causing bacteria to grow. These bacteria cause tissue inflammation, sensitivity, bleeding, and pain. Left untreated, the bacteria can cause a host of problems including loss of the supporting bone, which causes the teeth to weaken.
When these pockets develop, scaling and root planing can be done to reduce them. If the treatments are unsuccessful, periodontal flap surgery.
Flap surgery is not necessarily a treatment for periodontal gum disease, but it is done to slow down the progression of the infection. In most cases, the flap surgery is done in a combination of other treatments and as part of your periodontal treatment.
The primary goal of flap surgery is to eliminate and reduce the gum pockets. The dentist will make an incision on the gums to remove the diseased tissue from inside the pockets. The area is cleaned and gums reattached.
Another goal of flap surgery is to promote the regeneration of ligament and bone tissue. When the gum recedes, the supporting bone is often affected too. In such a situation, the dentist will also do bone grafting and tissue regeneration procedures. Bone grafting involves the use of bone granules from other parts of your body to stimulate bone growth.
Tissue regeneration, on the other hand, uses small tissue matter from your palate to promote gum tissue growth.
These procedures are done to restore the gums’ form and function and also promote healthy teeth support.
Before the process of surgery starts, Dr. Polly Michaels will first anesthetize your gums using local anesthesia. At times, dental sedation is used to keep you calm during the procedure. After the medication takes effect, the dentist will make an incision on the gums to separate them from the teeth. The outer gum is then folded back to access the roots and the supporting ligament and bone tissue.
Next, the dentist will remove the inflamed gum tissues and clean the roots. If need be, medication like antibiotics may be used.
If there are any bone defects, a bone graft is done to stimulate bone regeneration. Finally, the gum incision is closed to facilitate healing.
Most people will experience some discomfort as the anesthesia begins to wear out. The dentist will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to relieve discomfort and prevent infection. In the first 24 hours, you need to avoid strenuous activity to minimize pain.
Follow the instructions that the dentist gives you to facilitate healing. Some of the aftercare instructions include:
Gum disease can be prevented with proper dental hygiene, regular dental examination, and professional cleaning.
Visit Michaels Center for Dental Excellence for more information on how to keep your gums healthy and free of infection.