Gum Surgery

Gum Surgery Explained

Those with ongoing gum problems like periodontitis or gingivitis may need gum surgery to resolve the issues. Otherwise, the outcome could be a loss of teeth and jaw bone.
Gum surgery is an all-inclusive term for different types of procedures to treat gum disease. It also includes surgery used for cosmetic reasons. Gum surgery has become more of a routine procedure in recent years with all the advancements in tech and medicine.

When is Gum Surgery necessary?

Most gum surgeries are to treat gum disease or the damage it causes. Periodontists don’t take the procedures lightly and use them as a last resort to prevent tooth loss and eliminate bacteria and infection.
Gum surgery is also a way to regrow tissues and bone damaged by gum disease, reshape the jaw bone to reduce bacteria growth, and reduce gaps between teeth and gums. It is also used to lengthen the surface area of teeth to accommodate other dental procedures or for cosmetic reasons to reduce a “gummy smile.”


Many people experience some form of gum disease in their lives. Most of the time, that comes as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontitis and you will notice it when you have gums that bleed when you brush or floss.

Gingivitis can usually be treated with better oral hygiene like deep teeth cleaning at a dental office, flossing daily, and brushing twice a day. An antibacterial mouthwash often helps reduce or eliminate it.
However, a worsening of this condition turns into a more severe gum disease called periodontitis. This advanced disease can damage bone, and tissue, and result in tooth decay.

This is when the gums start separating from the teeth. Spaces, or pockets, develop and trap bacteria where they grow and destroy your teeth, tissue, and jaw bone. Surgery may be the only way to stop this from advancing.

Types of Gum Surgeries

Four types of gum surgeries are available to stop the spread of periodontitis. The type your periodontitis chooses depends on the individual case, the condition of the mouth, and the overall health of the patient.

Flap Surgery

This is the procedure chosen for those with deep pockets filled with tartar. The surgeon will lift the gums off the teeth to remove the tartar and then suture the gums to fit snugly around the teeth.

Bone Grafts

This procedure is for those who have bone damaged or destroyed by periodontitis. The periodontist makes a small incision into the gum and inserts material that acts as bone. The new bone secures the tooth in place and helps the patient's jaw bone regenerate. The bone used can be from the patient, a bone bank, or a synthetic bone from a manufacturer.

Tissue Regeneration

The goal of this surgery is to help bone and connective tissue regrow. The periodontist places a tiny piece of mesh material between the gum tissue and the jaw bone. This keeps the gum from overextending its growth and allows the connective tissue and bone to regenerate.

Tissue Grafts

This helps people with receding gums resulting from gum tissue loss. The periodontist will take tissue from another part of the body, which could be the roof of the mouth, and attach it to the receding gum area. It covers exposed teeth roots, prevents more damage, and grows into a new gum line.

Cosmetic Surgery

The surgery to give more surface area to the teeth is called a crown lengthening surgery. It reduces the gum line to give more balance between teeth and gums in the smile. It is also used medically when dentists don’t have enough of a tooth surface to place a crown or perform other necessary procedures.

Other Options

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New treatments are constantly being researched. Not every dentist uses them because of a lack of evidence for effectiveness but some are willing to try them in certain cases to avoid surgery.

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Among those are laser therapy used to reduce the gaps between teeth and gums and using a protein gel to stimulate bone and tissue growth. Those with gingivitis and periodontitis don't have to live with it.

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There are solutions where you can save your teeth and your mouth function. Call us today for a consultation and let us help you gain better oral health care.

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