There are many modern options for treating periodontal disease, ranging from root planing and scaling to laser periodontal surgery, but much of what is done to treat infected gums falls under two categories: gingivectomy and gingivoplasty.
What Is a Gingivectomy?
A dental operation that focuses on the removal of infected periodontal tissue is called a gingivectomy. It’s use is limited to specific areas because it exposes roots and bare bone which can have excessive sensitivity after the procedure..
The focus of most gingivectomies is to remove hypertrophic gum tissue related to some medicines and as a result of chronically inflamed but untreated gum infections.
It's important to act fast before festering periodontitis damages your teeth roots and your underlying bone tissue. Once the gums start pulling away from the teeth, the situation is critical and some form of periodontal treatment needs to be done.
Laser periodontal surgery can eliminate deep bacterial pockets, kill off bacteria to reduce the chances of a re-infection, and greatly reduces the amount of healthy tissue lost while removing all the unhealthy tissue. But not every patient is a candidate for laser surgery, so you'll have to check with your periodontist. If surgical periodontal therapy is planned, you will first of all have to have your teeth and gums thoroughly cleaned, and then a local anesthetic will be administered. After the surgery, dental "putty" or another surgical dressing may be placed over the gum line until the affected area has fully healed.
What Is a Gingivoplasty?
A gingivoplasty is a reshaping of gum tissue around your teeth. A gingivoplasty is sometimes performed immediately following a gingivectomy, but usually not. Usually, it's a separate operation.
You may also need soft tissue grafts along with a reshaping of your gum line, particularly if you've lost too much gum tissue to periodontal disease. In other instances, however, it may be a matter of moving the gums up or down relative to the teeth and simply repositioning the tissue to create an even gum line at the proper height.
With both gingivoplasty and gingivectomy, most periodontal treatment is fairly simple and straightforward. And modern methods, anesthetic, and dental sedation reduce the pain and nervousness.
Post-op Concerns With Periodontal Treatment
It can take anywhere from a couple days to several months for your gums to fully heal following periodontal treatment. It all depends on the exact type of procedure and how extensively infected your gums were.
Taking ibuprofen, Tylenol or an antibiotic may be part of your post-op instructions. And you may need to stay on a soft diet for a while. Be especially careful brushing and flossing around your still-tender gums! Finally, never use tobacco before or after periodontal treatment because it slows down healing time and reduces your ability to fight infections.
To learn more about periodontal treatments, contact periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, today!