When you think about the health of your mouth, you probably think about strong, clean teeth. Many people fail to think about the health of their gums, too; but the health and wellness of your gums is just as important to the overall health of your mouth as the health of your teeth. At Metro Dental Care, Dr. Norouzinia, a board-certified periodontist, helps Denver patients eliminate gum disease, and improve the health and aesthetics of their gums every day. If your dentist has recommended gum surgery to you, the health of your gums may be at risk. Continue reading to learn more about why gum surgery is needed, and what to expect.
If you’re looking for superior periodontal care in the Denver area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike Norouzinia! He is a board-certified periodontist, which means that he specializes in prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as the placement of dental implants. Call us today at 303.534.2626 to get started.
Some patients are at a higher risk of needing gum surgery over others, because some patients have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease, or gum disease. Though not all gum surgery procedures treat periodontal disease, the majority do. The most common cause of periodontal disease is improper, infrequent brushing and flossing, or failure to receive routine dental cleanings. However, someone with one or more of the following risk factors can develop periodontal disease sooner (and develop a more aggressive infection) than other patients without risk factors. These include:
- Age (nearly 70% of patients 65 and older have advanced periodontal disease)
- Frequent tobacco use
- Certain medications, such as heart medicine
- Existing health issues such as heart disease, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
Gum Surgery Procedures
The most common gum surgery is gingival flap surgery, and occurs in conjunction with a deep cleaning process for your teeth and gums after advanced periodontal disease has been diagnosed.
When you receive routine exams, you may remember part of the process where your dentist places a tool near each gum line of the tooth and announces a number. This is a measurement between the top of your gum line to where the gum connects to each tooth. In healthy patients, this number typically falls between one and three millimeters. For patients with periodontal “pockets” due to gum disease, this number is higher; that means the gums have begun to pull away from the tooth. Swift treatment through gingival flap surgery (or in some cases, scaling and root planing) helps to reverse the effects of periodontal disease. During this procedure, the gums are separated from the teeth so that your dentist can deep clean your teeth and teeth roots with special tools. Once teeth cleaning and restoration are complete, the gums are put back into place and stitched. With quick treatment, Dr. Norouzinia can stop the growth and reverse effects of periodontal disease.
Other gum surgeries may include:
- Guided tissue regeneration: This surgical technique aids in restoring damaged gum and bone tissue from periodontal disease. Dr. Tran places a small piece of fabric mesh between the damaged bone and gum to prevent excessive gum tissue growth from impeding healthy bone restoration.
- Soft tissue grafting: Gum grafts are the answer for receding gum lines that leave teeth exposed and more vulnerable to sensitivity or decay. Though gum graft procedures can vary, the most common procedure is a connective-tissue graft. This procedure sources soft tissues from underneath the roof of your mouth (called the palate) before stitching them into place in the area of gum recession. The incision in the palate is then closed.
- Gum contouring: Finally, not all gum procedures are restorative. Gum contouring treatments are a cosmetic service that reshapes the gum line, for patients with “gummy” smiles or uneven gum lines. Dr. Norouzinia or another member of our team finely shapes or reduces gum tissue to create a more symmetrical, aesthetic gum line for your unique smile. For some patients with excess gum tissue, this procedure can actually reduce their chances of developing periodontal disease.
Healthy Gums for Healthy Smile
If you have questions about periodontal treatment, or how to improve the health of your gums, schedule a consultation with Dr. Norouzinia. Our Denver dentists can determine the health of your gums and whether you would benefit from periodontal treatment. Contact us at 303.534.2626.