No matter what shape your teeth and gums are in, a visit to a dental professional allows you to get back on the road to a healthy mouth. A common problem, when dental care has been neglected for a significant amount of time, is gum disease. Sometimes this can be rectified with a thorough in-office cleaning and a prescription rinse solution, combined with proper daily cleaning. However, in cases of severe gum disease, dental flap surgery may be needed. In dental flap surgery, parts of the gum are pulled back to provide access to the roots of the teeth, which are cleaned and repaired. The bone that is exposed can be smoothed to reduce the likelihood that plaques will grow and may even receive a bone graft from a donor site. Once this is done, the gum flap is sewn back into place. Flap surgery is required when severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis, has caused damage to the bones that support your teeth.
By fixing the underlying damage, a flap procedure can allow teeth and gums to become healthy again. Dental flap surgery is a tooth saving procedure. When you have flap surgery at Oakridge Dental Center, you will first be given a local anesthetic to numb the area so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. If a bone graft is placed, either with donor bone from another site in the body or using composite materials, a lining may be placed to assist the graft taking hold, in which case a return visit may be needed to remove the lining. The gums are sewn back into place and the area is covered with gauze to stop bleeding.
If you have flap surgery it is very important to continue to take care of your gums afterwards, or your gum disease is likely to return. There will be some pain and bleeding in the days after the procedure, and your gums may be bruised and swollen initially. You may be given a special rinse, or instructed to gargle with warm saltwater, which has antiseptic properties. Pain can be managed with medications, and an ice pack applied to the cheek may help with any discomfort. Smoking in particular is hard on the gums and should be avoided. With proper care your gums can be pink and healthy again.
If severe gum disease is threatening your teeth, Oakridge Dental Center may be able to save them with dental flap surgery and restore your teeth and gums to health.