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4 Types of Gum Surgery and Why You Might Need One

Oct 01, 2023
4 Types of Gum Surgery and Why You Might Need One
There are different types of gum surgery, and they can be used to improve the appearance of your smile, restore your oral health, or both. Four common types are flap surgery, gum grafting, periodontitis treatment, and gummy smile treatment.

Gums are a key component of oral health. They cover the roots of your teeth and help keep them in place. Unfortunately, issues can develop that need treatment.

For example, you may have too much gum tissue, which is called a gummy smile. Or, you may develop an infection in your gums. The good news is that in these cases and others, there are treatments that can fix these issues.

At Gables Sedation Dentistry in the Coral Gables neighborhood of Miami, our providers regularly perform different types of gum surgery. And in this blog, we explain four common ones.

Flap surgery

Gum disease is a condition in which plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, which leads to infection. If the condition is allowed to progress, the bacteria can burrow between the teeth and gums and create pockets, from which the bacteria can attack the teeth, jaw tissue, and gum tissue.

Cleaning these pockets requires access. That’s where gum flap surgery comes in. Performed under local anesthesia, we make incisions over the bacterial pockets, creating flaps. We then gently pull down the flaps and scrape away plaque and signs of infection. The flaps of gum tissue are then reattached to the teeth.

To perform flap surgery, we use the laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP®). Besides making precise incisions, this system also sterilizes and cauterizes, which reduces bleeding and the risk for infection. It also preserves as much healthy tissue as possible and allows for faster recovery times.

Periodontitis treatment

Gum disease can cause serious damage to gum tissue. In some cases, an infection can compromise the gum tissue so completely that the infected tissue needs to be cut away. For this, we also look to LANAP. 

The LANAP laser cuts more precisely than traditional manual tools. Once again, this means less damage to healthy tissue, less bleeding, and faster healing.

Gum grafting

If a lot of gum tissue must be removed, there may not be enough to cover the exposed roots of the teeth. Or, if gum disease is left untreated for too long, you may experience gum recession, in which the gum tissue retreats. This can also leave the tooth roots exposed.

Gum grafting adds back small pieces of gum tissue to cover and protect areas where the root of the teeth are exposed. The graft tissue is often taken from the roof of the mouth and placed where it’s needed.

Gum contouring

Do you have a gummy smile? For some people, there can be too much gum tissue, creating the impression that the teeth are short. Gum contouring is a strictly cosmetic procedure in which we subtly reshape the gum tissue to expose more of the teeth.

If you need dental care — including gum surgery — we can help. To learn more, call 305-518-1822 or book an appointment online with Gables Sedation Dentistry today.