What You Need to Know About Periodontal Surgery

What You Need to Know About Periodontal Surgery

Feb 01, 2020

Gum disease or periodontal disease is caused by poor hygiene and bacterial growth. In mild situations such as gingivitis, our periodontist in Houston, TX can perform root planning and a professional cleaning to get rid of the bacteria. However, in severe situations periodontal surgery may be the only solution and here are a few things to know about this common surgical procedure.

1. It is Only Done in Severe Cases

If the gum disease is in its initial stages, the dentist may recommend conservative treatments to prevent any further damage. However, in advanced stages, professional cleaning cannot hold up and you will need periodontal surgery. This surgical procedure involves cleaning bacteria off the gums and reshaping the bone to prevent gum damage.

You are a good candidate for periodontal surgery if you have very deep pockets, severe pain when chewing, red, swollen and bleeding gums, and loose teeth.

2. There Are Different Surgery Types

The kind of surgery done will depend on the severity of the gum disease. In the first stages of the treatment, the dentist will do scaling and root planing to remove tartar. When that doesn’t work, then the following procedures can be done:

  • Flap surgery is done to remove tartar
  • Tissue regeneration involves the use of mesh-like material to prevent gum growth in the spaces meant for the bone
  • Bone grafting is a procedure done when the root is damaged and you require new bone growth. The dentist will use bone granules from your body, cadaver, or synthetic bones to stimulate bone growth.
  • Tissue grafting is similar to the bone augmentation, only that it involves tissue instead of bone
  • Protein treatment can also work in promoting healthy bone growth

Laser therapy may be used to reduce the size of the gum pockets and restore damaged tissues, but there are minimal studies to support this premise.

3. It is a Lengthy Process

The periodontal surgery in Houston lasts for about two hours and it is done in several steps. Before the surgery, our dentist will perform a pre-operative assessment to determine if you are eligible. They will also review your medical history, check for any infections and the condition for your teeth, and discuss with you the procedure, the risks involved and what to expect.

IV or oral sedation is used to ease the discomfort, meaning you will either be fully or partially asleep during the procedure. If a bone graft is not needed, the gums will be cleaned, reshaped, and your gums stitched with fine thread. The stitches don’t disintegrate, meaning they need to be removed by the dentist after seven to ten days.

4. Following Doctor’s Instructions is Crucial

Following the doctor’s instructions will determine how quickly the recovery process will take.

  • The dentist may recommend pain-relieving medications
  • Use antiseptic mouthwash
  • Don’t engage in strenuous activities or drive while under the influence of pain medications
  • Eat a soft diet or foods that require less chewing
  • Don’t smoke as it impairs the healing process
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for 24 to 48 hours after surgery
  • Practice proper hygiene to keep the wound clean and free of bacteria. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid the surgical area to prevent trauma.

The follow-up appointment will be set one to two weeks after surgery to check the healing and remove stitches.

5. You May Have Discomfort

You may experience pain and discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. There will also be minor bleeding in the first 24 hours. Other complications include swelling, numbness, bruising, and discomfort.

Take Away

Unhealthy gums affect not only your teeth but also overall wellness. Furthermore, they are linked to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It is, therefore, vital to practice proper hygiene to keep bacteria away.

However, if you have gum disease, don’t worry, at Perio Health Professionals, we offer periodontal surgery services in Houston, TX to help get rid of the bacteria and prevent damage. Contact us for an appointment to evaluate if the procedure is right for you.