You may need surgery for severe gum disease (Reference periodontitis Opens New Window) if it cannot be cured with Reference antibiotics Opens New Window or Reference root planing and scaling. Types of surgery include:
- Reference Gingivectomy. A gingivectomy removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums. A gum specialist (periodontist) or oral surgeon often will do the procedure.
- Reference Flap procedure. A flap procedure cleans the Reference roots Opens New Window of a tooth and repairs bone damage caused by gum disease. A periodontist or an oral surgeon often performs this procedure.
- Tooth removal (Reference extraction). If gum disease has loosened or severely damaged a tooth, your dentist may need to remove the tooth. If the procedure is complicated or risky, an Reference oral or maxillofacial surgeon Opens New Window may do the extraction.
Other procedures may be needed to repair badly damaged gums:
- A Reference graft Opens New Window moves healthy gum tissue from one part of the mouth to another.
- Guided tissue regeneration places a special lining between the gums and bone. The lining helps bone grow back and helps the gums reattach to the bone.
For surgery to be successful, you will need to:
- Practice good dental care. For information on how to care for your teeth, see:
- See your dentist regularly for checkups. After you have had gum disease, you may need to see your dentist every 3 or 4 months for follow-up.
- Avoid smoking or using spit tobacco. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight infection and delays healing. While quitting is not easy, many people succeed by using a combination of medicine, a stop-smoking program, and counseling. For more information on how to quit, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
What to think about
Gum surgery can introduce harmful bacteria into your bloodstream. You may need to take antibiotics before and after surgery if you have a condition that puts you at high risk for a severe infection or if infections are particularly dangerous for you. You may need to take antibiotics if you:
- Have certain heart problems that put you at risk for a heart infection called Reference endocarditis Opens New Window.
- Have an Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window.
- Had recent major surgeries or have man-made body parts, such as an artificial hip or heart valve.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 5, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry