Gum Surgery

What is Gum Surgery?

Gum surgery, or periodontal surgery, describes a range of surgical procedures that are performed on the gums. It may be performed to improve the health or appearance of the gums, teeth, and other structures of the oral cavity.

How do you prepare for Gum Surgery?

Your dentist will first perform an examination to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for periodontal surgery. You should provide your dentist with any relevant records of your dental health and inform them of any allergies you have and any medications you are currently taking.

Preparation for the surgery itself will depend on the type of procedure being performed. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for several hours prior to surgery in order to avoid complications from the anesthetic.

Why is Gum Surgery performed?

There are several types of gum surgery which are performed for various reasons. Procedures that may be performed on the gums include:

Gum Graft: Gum tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth to surround a tooth that is exposed by gum recession
Gum Regeneration: A surgeon gets under gum tissue to remove bacteria and insert bone grafts or special proteins to stimulate gum regrowth
Gingivoplasty: Cosmetic procedure in which the gums are reshaped for a more attractive appearance
Gingivectomy: Removal of excess gum tissue, may be performed for the sake of appearance or to make the surface of the teeth easier to clean
Gingival Flap Surgery: Gums are pulled away and then stitched back in place following a deep cleaning of the teeth.

What can you expect during Gum Surgery?

Your teeth will receive a thorough cleaning before surgery. Usually a local anesthetic will be applied, but in some cases general anesthesia may be used. Most gum surgery procedures will involve making an incision in the gumline to get at the teeth and tissue underneath. The gums will be sutured back in place following the procedure. Your surgeon can answer any questions you may have about the specific gum surgery procedure you require.

What is the followup and recovery like for Gum Surgery?

Again, recovery times will depend on the type of surgery being performed, but you will probably have a followup appointment within a couple of weeks to assess your condition and address any issues or complications. Some swelling or bleeding immediately after surgery is not unusual and should subside within 24 hours or so. You may be prescribed pain relievers to help deal with post-operative soreness.

What are the potential risks for Gum Surgery?

Expertly performed gum surgery is quite low-risk, but any surgery carries a chance of complications such as bleeding or infection. There is also a possibility that the surgery will result in a gum line appearance that is incongruous or uneven.

Are there related treatments to Gum Surgery?

Gum tissue grafts and crown lengthening are both procedures that fall under the larger umbrella of gum surgery.

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