What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by one of dentistry’s all-too-familiar bad guys: plaque. This sticky bacteria can often be treated by regular brushing and dental cleanings. However, if left untreated for too long, plaque can inflame your gums, cause them to separate from your teeth, and then get stuck in the space between.
All sorts of health concerns arise from this entrapment, not only including the potential risk of bone and tooth loss, but also heart disease, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. At this stage, if the damage is too severe for a regular dental cleaning to address, gum surgery may be necessary.
What Happens During Gum Surgery?
Gum surgery contains two major steps: scaling and root planing. At Forestville Family Dental, our dentists gently apply a local anesthetic before scaling your teeth, which means to take away all of the plaque and tartar from above and below your gum line. This cleaning includes the trapped plaque in the pocket between your teeth and gums.
Next, we begin root planing, during which we gently smooth out the roots of your teeth so it’s easier for your gums to reattach to them. Depending on your circumstances, the entire surgery may take more than one visit to complete.
After gum surgery, it’s common to feel soreness for a couple of days and have sensitive teeth for around a week. You may also experience some gum swelling, tenderness, and/or bleeding. In order to combat these symptoms, as well as prevent infection, we can prescribe you oral medication, a mouth rinse, or pain-relieving medication that we insert directly into the scaled and planed pocket.
Several weeks after your surgery, we will schedule a follow-up visit to see how your gums are healing and measure the size of the affected pocket(s). Depending on the pocket depth, we may need to administer more treatment. To keep gum disease from potentially reoccurring, be sure to practice good dental habits, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly.
If you’re experiencing pain and think gum surgery may be right for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can talk to you about your options and take care of your discomfort.