Is surgery sometimes needed?
When very deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult to thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar even with dental instruments. Likewise, you may have trouble keeping these pockets clean.
If the pockets do no heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed. One of the goals of periodontal surgery is to reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets to make them easier to keep clean.
With surgery, we can access hard to reach areas that require the removal of tartar and plaque. The tooth root is cleaned and smoothed. Sometimes the bone around the tooth also is smoothed to help remove these pockets. The gums then are sutured back into place or into a new position that will be easier to keep clean at home.
Bone surgery may be used to rebuild or reshape bone that has been destroyed. Grafts of the patients bone or artificial bone may be used, as well as special membranes. Splints, bite guards, or other appliances are used to stabilize loose teeth and to aid the regeneration of tissue during healing. If excessive gum tissue has been lost from the tooth root (gum recession), a gum graft may be performed. After surgery, a protective dressing over teeth and gums is usually applied. An antibiotic and mild pain reliever may be prescribed.
How do I prevent periodontal disease from recurring?
Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. We will want to see you at regular intervals, too. You may need to schedule more frequent visits than you have in the past. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.