What is periodontal surgery?

It’s a surgery to improve the aesthetics and function of a smile damaged by gum disease. This can

include periodontal disease surgery to correct the gums, teeth, or bone.

A severe infection below the gum line, called periodontitis, can lead to:

  • Gum recession
  • Gum damage
  • Bleeding gums . Painful gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss
  • Other health problems like heart disease and stroke

If you have signs of gum disease or haven’t maintained great oral hygiene (this includes skipping dental check-ups), then it’s important to get your teeth and gums examined by a dentist. A gum infection is a progressive disease that shouldn’t be ignored.

Believe it or not.

Some signs go unnoticed for years, so it’s especially important to maintain regular dental visits so a dentist can spot signs of periodontitis or risk factors early on.

Periodontal surgery options include:

Dental crown lengthening to remove excess gum or bone tissue on a tooth

Soft tissue graft to reduce gum recession and protect the tooth root from damage

Bone graft and tissue graft to prepare for a dental implant or restabilize an existing tooth

Gum grafting to place healthy tissue around a tooth experiencing severe gum recession

Bone morphogenic protein (BMP) to help stimulate the body to create new bone

Gum flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery to separate teeth from gums temporarily to clean the infected root


Is periodontal surgery necessary?

When gum disease is at an advanced stage, the damage cannot be reversed, and periodontal surgery is necessary.

Yes, you read that right.

Periodontal disease is not reversible. The good news is, it can be controlled, treated, and your smile can be restored. As you know. gum damage and bone loss can’t regenerate on their own.


So the sooner gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the faster and less expensive the treatment options are.

This all depends on the extent of damage, and with the most severe cases of periodontitis, dental Implants may be required to replace a missing tooth. And based on bone loss, there may be prep work needed for the jawbone to properly support the implant

What is periodontal surgery?

Sometimes, periodontal surgery may be needed to treat certain gum diseases and conditions, such as gingivitis or periodontitis. This type of surgery is commonly known as gum surgery.

The procedure aims to treat the gum disease and any damage it may have caused by:

  • regrowing damaged bones and tissues
  • preventing tooth loss
  • reducing gum gaps between teeth, known as black triangles
  • reshaping the jaw hone to lower the risk for bacterial growth in bone crevices
  • eliminating bacteria and infection
  • Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitismay require surgical treatment.
  • Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can cause gum redness, swelling, and bleeding. Most often, gingivitis occurs due to poor oral hygiene, plaque, and tartar buildup. Professional treatment can reverse the condition.
  • Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease in which gingivitis has worsened and advanced, leading to an inflammatory response that destroys bone and tissues.
  • During this inflammatory process, the gums begin to separate from the teeth. This causes spaces called pockets to develop, which in turn trap bacteria and lead to infection.
  • As a result, tooth loss and bone damage can occur.

Types of surgical procedures

Which kind of surgery a dental surgeon performs depends on the type and severity of the gum disease.

Before surgery, a dental surgeon might give the gums a deep clean. One procedure known as deep scaling can remove tartar and bacteria from teeth and gums.

Another procedure known as root planing can smooth the surfaces of the roots of the teeth, meaning that there are fewer places for tartar and bacteria to build up. This procedure also removes any tartar that is on the root.

Deep scaling and root planing usually occur at the same time.

Flap surgery

Flap surgery is especially helpful for people who have tartar deposits in deep pockets. The procedure involves lifting the gums off of the teeth to remove tartar buildup.

After the surgeon has cleaned the area and removed the tartar, they will stitch the gums into place to fit around the teeth. Sometimes, the bone may require reshaping during this procedure.

Bone grafting

When the bone that surrounds the root of the tooth is damaged or destroyed, a person may need a bone graft. This procedure involves replacing the damaged bone with new bone. This bone may be the person’s bone, a manufactured bone, or donated bone.

The goal of bone grafting is to hold the tooth in place and help it to regrow.

Guided tissue regeneration

During this procedure, a dental surgeon will place a small piece of mesh-like material between a person’s bone and gum tissue.

The material prevents the gum from growing into space where bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow.

Tissue grafting

A lowered gum line, known as gum line recession, is caused by the loss of gum tissue and may require soft tissue grafting to reduce the risk of further damage.

During this procedure, a dental surgeon typically removes tissue from one part of the body and re-attaches it to the area where the gum has receded. The tissue often comes from the roof of the mouth.

Tissue grafting not only reduces the risk for further damage but also covers any exposed roots.

Other treatment options include:

  • Laser therapy: Although no current evidence fully supports laser therapy, some dentists use it to reduce the size of pockets and restore damaged connective tissue.
  • Tissue-stimulating proteins: This procedure involves using a protein-containing gel to stimulate bone and tissue growth.

Can gum disease be prevented?

Since gum disease is caused by bacterial overgrowth, plaque, and tartar buildup, proper oral hygiene is usually effective in preventing and reversing the condition.

In most cases, seeking regular dental care accompanied by brushing and flossing two times a day is enough to prevent gum disease from occurring.


If left untreated, gum disease may lead to the development of a variety of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pre-term, low-birth-weight babies.

Gum disease can also become a serious health condition affecting the teeth, gums, and bones, leading to infection and bone and tissue death. This may require extensive surgery to repair and treat the condition.

Reducing risk factors, maintaining a good oral hygiene, and keeping routine dental appointments can reduce the risk and severity of gum disease.

What Is Dental Scaling and Polishing?

Dental scaling and polishing enables your dentist to stave off your ever-worsening gingivitis and maintain your oral hygiene and health at the same time. The consistency of your cleanings is essential to prevent dental diseases from developing. Polishing is done to finish what scaling started, usually when it comes to teeth stain removal. On that note, your prophylaxis and deep cleaning schedule might end up happening every three months, every month, or every week depending on the severity of your developing periodontal disease. You need dental services because antiseptic mouthwash, rinsing, and brushing daily might not be enough to address your issues in the long run.

The procedure of dental scaling and polishing is one carried out by a dentist who’s certified to offer such services. The dental professional is essentially tasked to clean around and under the gum line on the front and back of your teeth for the sake of removing plaque and tartar. Scaling removed the diseased parts of your teeth and gums and polishing is smoothening up those rough edges to foster the dental and gingival healing process. At any rate, to avoid having to resort to scaling, you should regularly attend your dental checkups and cleanings for at least every six months or twice a year.

  • How Does Plaque Build Up Exactly? Plaque happens to everyone because everyone needs to eat in order to survive. It’s essentially the combination of bacteria, saliva, and proteins in your mouth that form a film or a thin layer of leftover that covers your teeth at all times until you brush it off. This plaque won’t turn into tartar or calculus as long as you regularly brush your teeth or treat your gingivitis with the right medical mouthwash. However, some people can’t help but be neglectful.
  • Calculus Isn’t Just a Math Subject: The dental version of calculus is just another name for tartar. It’s a chalky substance made of plaque and calcium that builds up over time. It’s hard to notice because it’s usually tooth-colored and mistaken as part of your teeth. However, it can also be black or brown in color, thus making it stand out like a sore thumb. A dentist should be able to figure out if you have calculus deposits on your teeth.
  • Tartar Is Not Tooth Cement or Filling: Don’t think that calculus filling in the gaps and cavities of your teeth is a good thing. Rather, it’s quite problematic. This is because tartar is still made of plaque and the bacteria contained herein are eating at it like hard candy while spewing acid all around. This then leads to bacteria thriving and spreading into your gums, which leads to gingivitis and periodontitis. They should be removed along with the plaque that helped them develop in the first place.
  • Plaque Buildup and Tartar: Plaque buildup that has turned into tartar or film that has calcium deposits on it will require a dentist to do scale them with special tools. Afterwards, your dentist should then polish the rest of your teeth clean of plaque and tartar, thus encouraging the healing process and a fresh beginning. The idea here is to stave off the progress of your periodontal disease by scraping off the diseased portions of your tooth root and gums so that they can be replaced with healthy tissue.
  • Bacteria Lives in Plaque:When you scratch that plaque off of your teeth and eat it, please don’t. It’s because the bacteria in your mouth lives in plaque. It’s both their home and their food source, like their personal gingerbread house.  Sugars, acids, and tiny food particles all go into the plaque that bacteria eats, which in turn has them produce or arguably defecate acid that gives your teeth cavities. It’s also these bacteria that can cause gum disease like gingivitis along with tooth decay. Keep in mind that you can avoid all of these problems simply by getting regular dental cleanings, brushing, and flossing.
  • How Gingivitis Makes Everything Worse: If left unaddressed or ignored, your gum disease will become full-blown periodontal disease. Healthy gums are what you need in order to keep the plaque out while fitting tightly around your teeth’s root and surface. These gums attach tot he tooth from1-3 millimeters below the gum line. Once your gums start becoming diseased, this tissue will loosen and bacterial pockets will form around the gaps.
  • Deep Bacterial Pockets: Bacterial pockets from loosened gums is a Petri dish of awfulness that tends to get filled with plaque, thus worsening your problems, giving you bad breath, and ultimately loosening your teeth’s anchor to your jawbone. You can’t reverse gum tissue that’s already gotten a bacterial infection. The most you can do is take an antibiotic, gargle with antibacterial mouthwash, and then have your dentist remove the diseased gum and teeth tissue in the hopes that healthy tissue can take their place.

To Summarize

  • For patients with gum disease, dental scaling and polishing are standard operating procedures. Scaling in particular is a dental cleaning variant that’s more advanced that prophylaxis exactly because it reaches below the gum line to remove the buildup of plaque. The processes of scaling, polishing, and root planing your teeth are collectively known as deep cleaning. It goes beyond general dental cleaning you get from your annual visit or regular checkup.
  • When you’re in need of scaling, that usually means you’ve neglected to address your early stage gingivitis and allowed it to become full-blown periodontal disease, thus necessitating more severe measures. Also remember that scaling and planing as well as polishing might take more than one visit, with each of them addressing a different portion of your mouth. There are dentists who divide the mouth by quadrants to methodically tackle each and every one.






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