Periodontal Surgery in Blackfalds
If you have advanced periodontal disease, your dentist may have suggested surgery. The idea of gum surgery can be scary, especially for patients who experience anxiety about regular visits to the dentist. Alpen Dental provides non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease, and if required, gum surgery near Red Deer. All of your dental services at Alpen Dental are performed in our Blackfalds or Rimbey offices by licensed general dentists.
Reasons for Perio Surgery
An infection in your gums caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease can be progressive and require professional treatment. The plaque on your teeth is corrosive and contains bacteria. If it is not removed by daily brushing and flossing or regular dental cleanings, it can harden into tartar.
Plaque and tartar are more likely to build up in the crevices between teeth or the line where your gums meet your teeth. When bacteria moves below your gum line, the gum tissue can get infected. Periodontal disease can continue to destroy gum tissue, teeth roots and bone until it is stopped.
There may be no pain associated by the early stages of periodontal disease, but these other symptoms can be present:
- Red, swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- White patches of puss around the teeth
- Constant bad taste
When it is caught early, periodontal disease may be treated by non-surgical means. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should bring them to your dentist’s attention right away.
Dentists check for signs of gum disease at each visit. One of the pre-cursors of periodontal disease that dentists track are periodontal pockets. These pockets form when the gums pull away from the teeth and leave areas where bacteria can accumulate. Periodontal pockets provide a hospitable environment for bacteria to live and cause infection in the gum tissue.
Your dentist will track and document any periodontal pockets in your gums. If the pockets reach 5 mm, you could be a candidate for gum surgery. Gum surgery could also be necessary if:
- Teeth are loose due to receding gums and possible bone loss.
- Gums are swollen and growing up around teeth.
- Bad breath is a persistent problem.
- Tooth root is exposed by receding gums.
When non-surgical treatments do not adequately address periodontal disease and the damage it causes, gum surgery could be required. A periodontist can assess your gum disease and recommend a surgical treatment plan.
Surgical Intervention for Periodontal Disease
There are different surgical procedures used for periodontal disease:
1. Flap Surgery
This surgery helps clean the tartar below the gum line and reduce the periodontal pockets. The gums are cut parallel to the teeth with small incisions creating flaps. The flaps are peeled away from the teeth, so the lower half of the teeth can be cleaned thoroughly. The gum flaps are then stitched back in place and made to fit snuggly around the teeth.
2. Tissue Grafting
Gum tissue is often damaged by periodontal disease, and even once the infection is cleared, the tissue doesn’t always grow back. A tissue graft uses healthy tissue to replace what was lost around the base of the teeth. Tissue is harvested from the roof of the mouth and attached to the gums to build them back up. The new gum tissue protects the softer root of the tooth from exposure to erosion and decay. It also restores a more natural look to your smile.
Sometimes the result of periodontal disease is a buildup of excess gum tissue around the teeth. The gums become swollen and encroach on the crowns of the teeth. The swollen gums may also bulge into the mouth cavity and interfere with speech. When those pieces of excess gum tissue are surgically removed, it is easier to keep the teeth and gum line clean with daily brushing and flossing.
Periodontal surgery helps clear up the underlying infection and repairs some of the damage caused by gum disease. It also improves the chances of preventing periodontal disease in the future.