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Periodontal disease often refers to bacterial plaque and infections around the gum and tooth root. It can happen around one or several teeth. In some cases, the gum tissue is damaged or shrinks. In its more advanced stages, surgery to create new gum tissue (and even bone growth) can be done. There are several techniques used to encourage new gum growth using donor tissue, man-made material, or tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth.
Tell your periodontist of any recent changes to your health, medications, allergies, or supplements.
Take your prescription medications unless your periodontist says otherwise.
Talk to your periodontist about any medications you take, including over-the-counter medications. You may need to avoid certain medications as advised by your periodontist.
You may be asked to take an antibiotic prior to having surgery.
Sometimes sedative medications are used to make you more relaxed during surgery even though you are awake. If you are undergoing conscious sedation, you will be asked to not eat for at least six hours before surgery. Otherwise, you can have a normal diet.
Arrange for a ride if you are having sedation.
On the day of your surgery:
Remove contact lenses.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Bring paperwork as directed.
A local anesthetic will be used near the affected gum area.
Your periodontist may recommend conscious sedation. You will be awake, but will have no anxiety during the surgery.
This surgery is usually done in an outpatient setting. You do not need to stay overnight. If you are undergoing sedation, the periodontist or nurse will place an IV in your arm to deliver medication. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing will be monitored during and after the surgery.
The periodontist will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic delivered through a needle. The periodontist will make a small cut in the roof of your mouth and remove surface and/or connective (under the surface) tissue. This is the donor tissue that will be used for the graft. This area will then be stitched closed.
The new tissue flap will be repositioned on the damaged gum line and stitched into place. A dressing will be applied. A piece of mesh is sometimes placed between the gum and tooth to encourage growth.
If there is not enough donor tissue available on you, tissue from another person or man-made materials may be used.
You may feel mild discomfort while the periodontist numbs the affected areas for surgery, but you will not feel pain during the surgery. Medications can help control pain and anxiety before, during, and after the surgery.
American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed April 19, 2010.
Carson De-Witt R. Periodontal disease. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Published September 1, 2009. Accessed April 21, 2010.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH). Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH) website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed April 19, 2010.
Pre and postoperative instructions for periodontal surgery. Kathie L. Davis website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed April 19, 2010.
University of Maryland Medical Center. Periodontal disease. University of Maryland Medical Center website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed April 19, 2010.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.