Gum disease is a serious problem, and recognizing it before it becomes full-blown periodontitis often allows for the best possible outcome. However, if you’ve already been diagnosed with this severe gum disease, you might be wondering what options are available.
Downtown Dental Studio recommends many treatments for periodontitis, including surgery. Certain patients are excellent candidates for this option and will be able to benefit from flap surgery in the long term.
Our board-certified providers — Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD — want you to be able to get the treatment you need on a quick timetable so you can start managing your oral health in the best way possible. In some cases, this may involve surgery.
The causes of periodontitis
Most of the time, gum disease is fully preventable, and taking care of your mouth properly will allow you to avoid any issues with it. However, some people cannot create proper oral care regimens or they are dealing with other issues that cause periodontal disease.
Smoking, immunodeficiency diseases, and poor economic status can all increase your chances of experiencing periodontal disease. In 2015, it was found that 29% of Americans were without dental insurance, and among older adults (who have even more risk of this issue), the percentage jumped to 62%.
If you are already struggling with advanced gum disease (also known as periodontitis), the unfortunate truth is that it cannot be reversed like its milder form, gingivitis. Still, it can be managed in many ways. And surgery can often help with this.
Flap surgery 101
Flap surgery involves making small incisions in the gums and pulling them back to reveal the pockets between your gums and teeth. Sometimes, these pockets can become filled with plaque, and it’s harder, more difficult to remove cousin, tartar. The plaque and tartar are removed, and the gums are sutured to fit snugly against your teeth, be they natural or implanted.
Healing from flap surgery might sound challenging, but it usually only takes a few days. Pain is normal for the first three days, but you’ll start to see improvement quickly. After the surgery, it will be much easier to keep your teeth clean and avoid further buildup of plaque and tartar.
When it’s time to consider flap surgery
Different gum surgeries are appropriate at different times and for different reasons. Flap surgery is one of the more common options for intervention, as it can help clean out the deep deposits where tartar has formed. This is a common problem for those with periodontitis.
Since smoking after the surgery can minimize success rates, it’s often an excellent choice for those who have decided to give up smoking or those who don’t smoke. Also, if you have other risk factors for diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease, these can all be more easily avoided without further complications from periodontitis.
Flap surgery can be used alone or in tandem with bone grafting if you have lost any bone mass due to periodontitis. Many patients who are at risk of severe bone or tooth loss find considerable benefits from flap surgery.
Schedule your appointment today
If you have been waiting for a sign that your advanced periodontal disease requires professional treatment, this is it. Flap surgery makes it easier to ensure strong oral health, even with periodontitis. We want to help you take good care of your gums and teeth for years.
Visit us online to make an appointment or call our New York City office in the Financial District at 212-964-3337.