A gum surgery is performed in order to treat the gums when they have been infected. Gums are the soft tissue which supports and hold the teeth in place. They are affected mostly due to the bacteria in the plaque. When plaque stays on the teeth for a longer period of time, it tends to become hard and forms tartar. Tartar is one of the main causes of gum-related diseases. A gum surgery is used to protect the teeth from gum related infections.
Some of the symptoms of gum diseases are:
- Swollen and bleeding gums.
- Pain in the gums while chewing food.
- The release of pus from the gums.
- Bad breath and bad taste.
Different types of gum surgery
- Connective tissue graft: A flap is cut on the palate ( roof of the mouth) and tissue is extracted from under the flap. This tissue is stitched to the gum surrounding the exposed tooth. A tooth gets exposed when the gums start to recede and the root of the tooth surfaces. This can be corrected by transferring tissue from the palate to the gums. The palatal flap is then closed using stitches.
- Gingival graft: It is similar to connective tissue graft, except that tissue isn't extracted from under a flap. A strip of tissue is extracted directly from the roof of the mouth and stitched into place on the gums. This technique is used when one has thin gums and they need to be expanded.
- Pedicle graft: In this technique, a tissue is extracted from the nearby gums which are healthy. The strip of gum is partially cut with one end still being attached. It is then stitched into place so that the exposed tooth is covered.
Local anesthesia will be given to the patient before the surgery is performed. It would take a while for it to wear off. Medication will be given to the patient to recover from it. During the healing process, the growth of plaque has to be controlled. A special mouth rinse is used for this purpose. Brushing or flossing the operated areas should be avoided in order to prevent bleeding. Spicy and hot foods should also be avoided.
Laser gum surgery
Lately, laser treatment has been extensively used to perform gum surgery. It has been proved to be an efficient way of treating infected gums. The steps involved in laser gum surgery are:
- Pre-treatment of the gums to find the extent of infection by bacteria.
- The deep pockets are decontaminated with the help of laser treatment.
- The gums are reshaped by grafting technique.
Periodontal is a severe gum-related disease which is caused due to plaque and tartar. It causes deterioration of the gums and would lead to spreading of the infection to the pulp of the teeth. Gum surgery is a good option to reverse the damage caused due to diseases such as periodontal and gingivitis. Only mild pain is experienced by people undergoing gum surgery. Pain reducing methods such as the use of an ice pack and taking painkillers can help reduce the swelling and pain.