Gum Disease & Surgery
Gum disease is caused by an inflammation of the gum line that, if left untreated, can deteriorate the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused when bacteria and plaque is not properly removed from the teeth through brushing and/or flossing. It is a sneaky, progressive disease that can quickly worsen if not addressed quickly. There are three stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis: If the bacteria that is present in the mouth is not removed from the teeth through proper brushing and flossing techniques then food debris and plaque will build up causing a biofilm to coat the teeth. If this film is not removed then the gingival tissue can become inflamed resulting in the development of gingivitis. Gingivitis can be easily corrected, but if left untreated the gum line can become more inflamed leading to bleeding, and possibly the further development of periodontitis.
Periodontitis: This is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. Periodontitis can cause serious problems from tooth loss, to increased risk for heart attack or stroke. Much like gingivitis, periodontitis is largely preventable through proper dental care.
Advanced Periodontitis: This is the most severe form of gum disease. As the infections spreads to the tissue and bone surrounding the teeth, your teeth may eventually become loose and will need to be surgically treated or removed.
Once it has been determined that you require surgery to correct the diseased gum, your dentist will discuss which procedure is required to treat your teeth:
Gingival Flap Surgery: This surgery would be preformed on those patients who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontitis. The gum tissue is cut to separate the tissue from the teeth to conduct a deep cleaning with an ultrasonic scaling device and hand tools to remove tartar, plaque, and biofilm that has gathered below the periodontal pockets.
Gingivectomy: This type of surgery would be recommended to cut away excess gum tissue that may have become overgrown on the teeth. This provides a larger surface area of the tooth exposed for cleaning.
Gingivoplasty: This type of surgery is preformed to reshape healthy gum tissue around the teeth where a person may notice gum recession.
After any gum surgery has been preformed, it is imperative that your dentist or dental hygienist show you the proper techniques to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy through proper brushing and flossing, use of antibacterial mouthwashes and regular dental check ups.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can often be painless, so it is important to pay attention to your mouth and consult your dentist if any of the following occur:
- Red, Swollen gums that may be tender or bleed
- Receding gum line
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus