If it is left unchecked gingivitis can advance into the more dangerous form of gum disease known as periodontitis. When this happens your gums start to recede from the base of your teeth it creating pockets of infection deep in the gum tissue. This can damage the roots of teeth, and result in a loss of bone structure in your jaw.
In some cases, advanced periodontitis and the infection deep in the gums can only be resolved through surgical intervention. There are essentially three different procedures that your dentist or periodontist might recommend.
Gingival flap surgery is the most common procedures for periodontitis. The oral surgeon makes several incisions in the gums to expose and remove the infected pockets. The gums are then adapted back over the base of the teeth.
A gingivectomy is called for if lot of gum tissue or a gummy smile. The oral surgeon removes the infected gum tissues and then pulls excess healthy gum tissue over the base of your teeth.
A gingivoplasty also known as a gum graft involves the oral surgeon removing infected gum tissues. They will then replace them with a graft taken from another healthy location in the gums or the roof of your mouth.
These surgical procedures can be outpatient basis. Most people opt for deep sedation for their own comfort. This means you will need to have someone drive you. While you are recovering you will need to eat a soft foods diet. Your surgeon might also prescribe antibiotics, pain killers or anti-inflammatory medication to help deal with pain or any lingering infection.
If you have advanced gum disease and would like to explore treatment options, please call us to schedule an appointment.