Most people are averse to sharp objects in their mouth. Injections and dental drills give people the heebie-jeebies, so it is not surprising that people would be nervous about any surgeries involving the gums. Contrary to popular belief, however, gum surgery is not a horrifying affair, and the gums have a remarkable healing rate!
When does your dentist suggest a gum surgery?
Think of the suspension in a car. If the car didn’t have this shock-absorbing mechanism, driving would be uncomfortable, sometimes downright painful! The periodontium that is your gums and the bone surrounding it absorbs the chewing forces that you put on your teeth while chewing and do a similar job.
Your gums need maintenance just like your car does. Failure to keep your gums healthy can lead you to a stage where your dentist will have no option but to suggest you a surgery. Gum surgery, also called periodontal surgery, can improve the functioning to your gums and eliminate pain, bleeding and infection.
Your dentist may suggest you to go for a gum surgery incases of severe gingivitis( gum infections), severe periodontitis(infections of the gums and bone), weak gums, loose gums, to stabilize the loose teeth, receded gums, severe gum swellings , gummy smile etc.
Types of gum surgeries
Flap Surgery for cleaning, bone and tissue loss
Different types of gum surgery exist, with flap surgery being the most common of them. If you have an advanced case of periodontitis, you may need flap surgery. In this, the dentist raises a flap of gum to clean the roots under it. Think of it like cleaning the floor under the carpet. When plaque starts accumulating under the gum line, it irritates the gum and causes it to fall back. With flap surgery, the dentist can clean all the dirt and infection under the gums and eliminate any pain or bleeding.
In case there is bone loss, your dentist may remove infection and reshape the existing bone to provide better support to the teeth. In severe cases of bone loss, an artificial bone graft may be placed. Similarly, if there is severe tissue damage, your dentist may place synthetic tissue to help your body regenerate the lost tissue.
After, the flap is closed and your dentist will stitch the gum around it.
Surgery for Enlarged Gums
In severe cases of enlarged gums, your dentist may have to remove a part of the enlarged gums. This is done by cutting out any small growths and flap surgery for larger growths.
Plastic and Aesthetic gum surgery for better smiles
Just like people get plastic surgery for their face or body, it exists for your gums too. Underlying bone defects, loss of gum tissue and a gum line that has fallen back are all reasons to recontour your gums and the bone underneath to look and function better. Gum surgery is also carried out as a part of designing smiles- if you’re unhappy with your smile, or want to correct it so your gums don’t show as much, this one is for you! Gums and surrounding tissue have a remarkable healing rate; go on now, get your perfect smile.
Gum surgery for implants is carried out quite commonly these days. Implants are fast gaining popularity as an investment in your oral and bodily health. They are placed directly into the bone to be anchored just like a tooth would, and thus needs gum surgery.
Keep in mind, this is in no way a complete list of gum surgeries. While these are the main instances where one might need gum surgery, your dentist will always come up with a treatment plan best suited for you. There are several considerations to be made before gum surgery that affect the outcome of it, like your age, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or the stage of oral disease you have. Always properly consult your doctor before making any health-related decisions.
Prepping for them gum surgeries
First, and most importantly, remember that gum surgeries are carried out routinely and you should not be in any way scared to get it done if recommended by your dentist. As mentioned before, your oral tissue has an incredible healing rate.
You must also make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions.
Your dentist will first analyze your disease and use appropriate x-rays and other tests to diagnose the extent of it. You may also need to get your doctor to sign a note saying it is healthy for you to get surgery- this is necessary in cases of pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes , blood pressure, thyroid etc. and any other medications.
Depending on the severity of the disease you may or may not need a surgery. Mild cases may sometimes just need a deep teeth cleaning procedure without a proper gum surgery. On the other hand severe cases would require gum surgeries. You may be prescribed antibiotics before surgery, and you may be asked to stop taking certain medications like blood thinners 3 days before surgery.
Following surgery, you might need to take painkillers and antibiotics for a few days. Take these seriously and don’t skip a class. For a few days following surgery, try to avoid drinking or smoking. Make sure you attend all scheduled follow-up appointments, and practice good dental hygiene as instructed by your dentist.
If you have been recommended gum surgeries, fear not ! Make sure you do everything your dentist asks you to. And as always, make your oral hygiene a priority!
- Your gums act as shock absorbers to your chewing action.
- Failure to keep your gums healthy can lead you to gum surgeries
- Different types of surgeries exist for different gum problems
- You must make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions perfectly, both before and after surgery!