Periodontal surgery is needed when the tissue around the tooth becomes damaged or unhealthy due to poor dental hygiene practices. Gum tissue that is not properly cared for with good brushing and flossing habits can become inflamed, and if not treated successfully with non-surgical treatments, the gum tissue may loosen around the tooth to the degree that bacterial buildup can lead to bone loss and tooth loss. Periodontal surgery is performed to prevent further bone loss or tooth loss when non-surgical interventions have been unsuccessful.
Periodontal surgery is minor surgery that is usually performed using a local anesthetic. A periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease, will do the surgery in his or her office. The purpose of most periodontal surgeries is to expose the root of the tooth or teeth in order to gain access to remove bacterial buildup that is preventing the gum tissue from properly adhering to the root of the tooth. Once the bacterial buildup has been removed, and with meticulous after-care, the gum tissue has a chance to reestablish a secure attachment to the root of the tooth, preventing further damage or bone loss.
To gain access to the root of the tooth to do the cleaning, the periodontist will thoroughly numb the tissue around the tooth, then will surgically create a small flap around the tooth to be able to see the root and remove the bacterial buildup. After the root of the tooth is cleaned, the gum is put back into place with a suture, and a putty dressing is placed over the area. There is some slight discomfort for a day or two following the surgery, and there may be increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold for several days.
The successful candidate for periodontal surgery will be a person who is committed to the proper healing of the gum tissue after the surgery. Impeccable oral hygiene practices will be needed after the surgery to prevent bacteria from beginning to build up on the root of the tooth again, and frequent follow-up visits will be required after the surgery to assure that the area cleaned is staying clean and that healing is proceeding well. For this reason, many periodontists are very choosy about who they will perform periodontal surgery on to assure success.
Having surgery to repair damaged gum tissue is no guarantee that the bacterial buildup that lead to the surgery will not return. A true commitment to top notch oral hygiene practices, as well as frequent visits to the dentist to make certain that new, healthy, gum tissue is being produced and maintained, is absolutely necessary after periodontal surgery to make certain that there is a good outcome following the surgery. Developing excellent oral hygiene habits can prevent further gum tissue problems, and they are good habits for all to learn and practice at all times.
“Periodontal Surgery,” MyPeriodontist.com.