Gum Flap Surgery for Periodontal Disease: Procedure, Recovery, and Risks

Gum Flap Surgery for Periodontal Disease: Procedure, Recovery, and Risks

Jun 01, 2022

Periodontal disease affects the gums tissues causing inflammation. In most cases, the dentist will opt for non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease. However, when these treatments are unsuccessful, she may opt for other options like gum flap surgery to correct the gum issues. When the gum disease is untreated, it can affect the supporting bone and lead to tooth loss. Flap surgery can help stop the progression of the disease and protect the teeth and jawbone.

What is Periodontal Flap Surgery?

As gum disease advances, it affects the ligaments and destroys the bone tissue surrounding them. The disease can also cause gum pockets, which trap bacteria and can cause the infection to spread to the supporting tissues. Most times, scaling and root planing are used to treat the pockets and remove the bacteria. However, if this is not effective, flap surgery is considered.

Our dentist in Palm Beach will opt for flap surgery to treat and repair the pockets. She will cut the gums, detach them from the teeth and clean them.

Who is a Candidate for Flap Surgery?

A dentist near you can recommend flap surgery for moderate to severe periodontal disease patients who have not responded to non-surgical treatments. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease) causes inflammation, tooth sensitivity, tooth mobility, or gum recession. It can also lead to gum pockets that trap bacteria, making you a candidate for flap surgery.

What are the Goals of Gum Flap Surgery?

The primary objective of flap surgery is to reduce the gum pockets. During the flap surgery procedure, Dr. Mitchell A Joseph DDS will make a flap-like incision in the gums to remove the diseased tissues from the pocket and clean the roots. Afterward, the pockets are closed and the area sealed.

Flap surgery is also done to regenerate the gum ligament and bone tissue that may be lost due to the disease. The dentist will use various techniques to restore the gum’s function and promote health anchoring for the teeth.

How is the Flap Surgery Done?

Before the procedure, the dentist will perform a comprehensive medical and drug history. She might give you antibiotics before the surgery, especially if you have compromised immunity.

The dentist will numb the gums and dental sedation to keep you calm during the procedure. A small incision separates the gums from the teeth to access the roots. The inflamed gum tissue is removed, and the roots are cleaned. The dentist will also repair the bone defects with grafting material, and the incision is closed. The gum surgery procedure takes time to complete depending on the damage and the area affected.

Sometimes, if there is significant bone loss, a bone grafting procedure may be performed and the gum tissue repositioned.

What Can You Expect After the Periodontal Surgery?

It takes a few days to recover from the flap surgery, but you can support the recovery process with home remedies.

  • Rinsing your gums with warm salt water several times a day can relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Take the pain medication and antibiotics to ease pain and prevent infection.
  • Use a gauze pad or tea bag to stop the bleeding, and do not lie flat, as it prolongs bleeding. Elevating your head with a stuck of pillows is recommended.
  • Use cold therapy or ice packs to ease swelling and pain.
  • Eat soft foods to avoid irritating the gums.

You can expect a full recovery within a couple of weeks, but visit a dental office in Palm Beach if the swelling and soreness persist. The dentist will monitor your health and gums to ensure the recovery progresses as expected. She will also provide instructions on the best ways to prevent gum disease reinfection.

Are There Gum Flap Surgery Risks?

Your roots can become sensitive after the surgery, and the shape or contour of the gums may change. Additionally, the surgery can introduce harmful bacteria into the bacteria, so the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection.

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Visit Dr. Mitchell Josephs for more information about gum flap surgery and perio plastic surgery in Palm Beach.

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