Most of us have been to a dentist at some point and been told that we have gum inflammation or bleeding. It is a fairly common problem and one that can be solved by improving basic oral hygiene: brushing, flossing etc. However, if your oral hygiene continues to deteriorate and the problems are exacerbated then it can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis. I can see you giving me a confused look, wondering what on earth this means.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can result in redness, swelling and bleeding of the gum tissue. It tends to be caused by a build-up of plaque which consists of food debris and bacteria. When plaque is not cleaned away with brushing and flossing, it can begin to irritate the gum causing the development of gingivitis.
Periodontitis is the evolution of severe gingivitis. It is a fairly common disease that results in the deterioration of the soft tissue of the gums and more importantly the bone. The presence of bone loss suggests periodontitis and re
sults in the bone that support the teeth to be lost, which in turn results in gum recession, sensitivity and even mobility of teeth. Untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, stroke, heart attacks and further health problems.
So you had gingivitis and it has now developed into Periodontitis. Fear not, as this is a very treatable disease. This is usually initially treated by deep cleaning performed by a periodontal specialist. If the disease does not respond, then surgery may be required.
Depending on the extent of the disease deep surgical cleaning may be required to eradicate and stabilise the periodontitis. Furthermore, if there is evidence of gum recession and bone loss, there are numerous ways to regenerate these tissues by using graft materials.
These procedures are undertaken with local anaesthetic and sedation can be provided if you are particularly nervous. Before the procedure, a pre-operative exam will be done where your specialist will go through your medical history, examine the teeth and mouth for any infections or complications.
So how is this surgery carried out exactly? Well a standard periodontal procedure will include: Under local anaesthetic the specialist will lift the gums away from the teeth and remove the deep plaque build up. The specialist will then normally stitch the gums back into place with fine thread stitches and if required place graft material to regenerate the bone around the tooth. They can be removed at 7-10 days post surgery. A small piece of soft mesh material may also be placed between the bone and gums to prevent the gum growing into the bones space and encouraging better healing.
Overall, it is a very standard and commonly performed procedure, it is helpful to know what to expect beforehand, so on the day of the surgery, this is what you can expect. The whole procedure will take around 2 hours to complete normally.
recovering from periodontal surgery should be quite straight forward
- Patients will require pain relief after the surgery and these options will be discussed with the patient
- As you will not be able to clean your teeth straight after surgery, an antiseptic mouthwash will be given to keep the area clean and free from infection
- Eating soft foods and drinking only water in the days post-surgery
- Absolutely no smoking as this can cause further damage
- Around 1-2 weeks post-surgery, you dentist may organise a check up to check healing and remove any remaining stitches.
- It is important to maintain your oral health to prevent going through a similar procedure again, so your specialist will discuss a follow up schedule and tips to achieve this. In today’s busy world, oral disease can go untreated, so knowing your options and understanding the procedures is essential.
We hope this article has offered you peace of mind and for further details on Periodontal Surgery, contact the Neem Tree today.