What Do I Need To Know About Gum Surgery?

Periodontitis is characterized by the destruction of the bone and soft tissue surrounding the teeth. If a patient has advanced gum disease that can’t always be fixed with non-surgical management, one of the following surgeries may be necessary. In today’s blog, Dr. Steven Lieber and Dr. Jessica Stilley talk about osseous surgery and periodontal regeneration as well as follow-up and recovery.

To prepare, we recommend that patients make sure there is an updated health history given. Some medications may need to be stopped for a few days prior to a procedure or a consultation may be needed with a medical doctor. Smoking can seriously compromise surgical outcomes and should be discontinued at least two weeks before and after a procedure. We might be using some form of sedation with surgery and recommend arranging someone to bring you to and from your appointment.

Types of Gum Surgery

Osseous Surgery

If an infection has caused deep periodontal pockets (5 mm or more) that are beyond the reach of a toothbrush and floss, then gum surgery may be needed to access, clean, and repair the diseased areas. In osseous surgery, a periodontist will create a three-sided flap in the gum tissue with one side still attached to the blood supply. The surgeon can then remove the plaque from the deep pocket and repair any gum tissue or bone loss. After that, self-dissolving stitches are added to close up the area.

Periodontal Regeneration

Sometimes the pattern of bone loss can result in voids in the bone against this tooth. In regeneration, a flap is still opened away from the roots of the teeth like in osseous surgery. The roots are cleaned free of calculus and diseased tissue and then voids are filled in with graft material to help grow back the bone that has been lost. Stitches are placed to close the area and are worn for two weeks after the procedure. 

We realize that the idea of any surgery can be frightening, but this type of surgery should not be considered elective. It is necessary to the future health of your teeth and gums and can prevent further infection, damage to soft tissues, and bone loss.

Patients at Periodontal Health Center have various lengths of recovery time depending on how severe their disease is, their overall health, and the type of procedure. We recommend avoiding smoking and tobacco products always, but especially after the procedure.

Dr. Steven Lieber recommends eating cold, soft foods for the first two days following these types of surgery. Examples include ice cream, pudding, cottage cheese, Jell-O, and yogurt. After the first two days, warmer food can be introduced like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, or soups. Many of these are great comfort foods as well. We will ask patients to come back to our office for a follow-up checkup after about two weeks. Patients will most likely be on a more frequent preventative-maintenance schedule for cleanings and checkups as well. 

If you have any questions about periodontal health or any procedures, please contact our offices in Tampa and New Port Richey. 

If you'd like to learn more about surgical options for periodontitis request an appointment at our New Port Richey or Tampa offices.