Will You Need Plastic Surgery for Your Gums?

You may have been putting off a visit to the dentist for a considerable period of time and have noticed that your general oral health is less than it should be. You may be worried about periodontal disease, where infection spreads beyond the gums and into the bone density itself. How do you know if you're going to need extensive help, such as plastic surgery, in order to correct everything?

What to Expect on Your First Visit

Congratulations on making the decision to take the first step, which is a visit to the specialist. The dentist will have a look to see where you stand as far as periodontal issues are concerned and will first look at all of the pockets between the teeth and gum line. Normally, x-rays are taken which will tell the dentist if the guns have separated from the teeth themselves and if any loss of bone has been experienced. The dentist also has a probing instrument that can measure the distance between the gums and the bone.

The dentist will normally continue by outlining the changes that you need to make right now in order to ensure that things don't get worse. You will usually be told that you should increase your brushing regimen to at least three times each day and for no less than two minutes at a time. If you don't already have an electric toothbrush, you will be recommended to get one.

Cleaning First

Usually, a second visit is then prescribed to visit the dental hygienist. He or she will help to remove the hardened plaque and tartar that has been built up over time. This can be quite a prolonged visit and is normally quite painless, but it may be necessary to numb the area being worked on a little bit first.

Surgery Options

If plastic surgery is indeed needed because the periodontal disease has advanced to a certain stage, then this will be scheduled as well. The soft and hard issue that's been affected will need to be regenerated and the pockets that have grown in between the gums and teeth will have to be removed. It's possible that a bone graft will also have to be introduced in order to replace any bone that has been worn away by the disease as it progressed. Once this has been done, a membrane is frequently inserted as a protective device in between the gum tissue and the replaced bone as it all heals. You may be required to attend the surgery a couple of times in order to achieve all of this work.

Looking Ahead

The dentist's main aim is to quell the spread of the infection and to stop any additional damage. Once the work is complete it is important to maintain the good daily regimen that you've now committed to, in order to ensure that these problems do not arise again.