Much like a turtleneck tightly encircling your neck, your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth. When you suffer from periodontal disease, over time the supporting bone and tissue are destroyed and this forms pockets around the teeth. These pockets become deeper and provide a large space for bacteria to live in. As the pockets collect bacteria it results in further bone and tissue loss. When these pockets become too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and professional cleanings, your periodontist may recommend periodontal surgery.
About Periodontal Surgery
Periodontal surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, is a procedure intended to restore your gums to a healthier state. The surgery involves local anesthesia and opening the gums to gain access to the root surfaces. The roots are cleaned thoroughly and the bone defects are either smoothed and reshaped or filled with Emdogain (a regenerative solution) or bone graft materials. The gums are then stitched up and allowed to heal.
The goal of this surgery is to create an environment that is easier for you to keep clean with your home care regiment and by the hygienist. By making the pockets more shallow, it allows your daily oral hygiene to be more effective and increases your chances of keeping your natural teeth. It also may decrease your risk of developing or worsening other health problems such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease that are associated with periodontitis.
Following the surgery, you may experience some swelling. Applying an ice pack to the outside of your face over the treated area to help with discomfort. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed before, during and after the treatment to prevent any infections. Warm salt water rinses are very helpful to reduce swelling in the week or two after, and help cleanse the tissues.
A week or two following the surgery, you’ll come back to the office for us to check the surgical area and ensure your mouth is healing properly.
Is It Painful?
Historically, patients have thought periodontal surgery is painful but with modern techniques using cutting-edge equipment and techniques, it is much less invasive and traumatic. Our Periodontist Dr. Brancheau aims to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, and has a skilled and gentle touch when performing surgery.