Gum Surgery Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Healthy gum tissue is pink and soft and plays a huge role in keeping teeth where they belong -- rooted in the mouth. Surgery is one option for repairing damaged gums, but how does it work and how much does it hurt?

Gum disease is reversible.

It is treatable, but not reversible.

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Bone in the mouth can grow back if damaged.

It can grow and fuse with other bone, replacing or building up areas where bone has been lost, such as below the teeth and gums.

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Gum surgery will reduce the likelihood of developing more gum recession in the future.

Surgery can repair areas of gum tissue that have receded, but it also increases the likelihood of gums receding further at the surgical site. Conscientious oral hygiene can reduce the likelihood, however.

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A flap is the area between teeth and gums where the gum tissue has pulled away from the teeth.

This loose area of the gums is called a pocket or periodontal pocket.

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Root planing involves reattaching loose gum tissue to the teeth.

Planing is a deep-cleaning process where hard tartar and calculus buildup are scraped off of the sides of the teeth and tooth roots. Teeth may begin to tighten around the teeth after roots are cleared of rough debris, though.

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Scaling is a method for determining the correct scale of gum tissue to teeth before grafting in new gum tissue.

Scaling is a complementary part of planing -- root scaling and planing often go together as a means to clean and prepare the teeth and to remove bacteria as much as possible so gums can heal and adhere to teeth better.

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Soft tissue grafts involve adding soft tissue to areas where the gums around teeth have receded.

Often tissue from the roof of the mouth, or from healthy areas of the gums near the receded area, are positioned underneath the area of recession and then sutured or stitched in place.

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An oral surgeon is the only professional qualified to perform gum surgery.

Periodontists, or gum specialists, also can perform gum surgery.

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Almost all procedures involving periodontal surgery are outpatient.

Most are performed in the office of a periodontist or oral surgeon and the person receiving surgery goes home the same day.

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The primary goal of gum surgery is to improve the appearance of the teeth and gums.

It is an intervention to save the teeth. Weak gums lead to lose teeth that can fall out if they're not reinforced at the root and gum line.

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Some people do have gum surgery for purely cosmetic reasons.

Individuals may have a gum line that makes teeth appear long or too prominent in proportion to the mouth. Periodontal plastic surgery can include grafting or manipulating healthy gum tissue to improve a person's smile.

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Getting a thorough cleaning at the root level below the gum line can make you appear "long in the tooth."

When gum tissue is pulled away or when dental tools are used to get down into periodontal pockets, gums may appear worse before they start to get better. As teeth are smoothed, gum tissue will shrink back into the teeth or begin to cling more tightly. Teeth may still look longer than before, but gums actually are healthier than before deep cleaning and will look healthier over time.

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A periodontal dressing is a hard cap placed over a tooth or teeth as gums heal from surgery.

It is a soft packing of flexible material that protects the newly cleaned and grafted tissues so they can heal without being disturbed.

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Tissue from the roof of the mouth often is too thin for using as graft material for gum surgery.

It is one of the most common areas for removing flaps of tissue for grafting to the gum line.

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Stitches from gum surgery are always dissolvable.

Sometimes they are regular sutures that need to be removed by the surgeon or dentist.

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Brushing too hard is a common cause of gum problems.

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions when cleaning teeth will help keep tissues healthy and intact.

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A local anesthetic is not strong enough to numb the mouth for most types of periodontal surgery.

Most often it is enough, and pain is mild to moderate following the procedure.

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Gum surgery helps alleviate sensitive teeth for some, but for others, it makes it worse.

Individuals with receded gums often experience tooth sensitivity at the roots. Those who undergo surgical repair of gum recession also may develop sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages or other stimuli, and the sensitivity can be either short- or long-term.

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A prescription for super strong pain killers is often necessary after gum surgery.

Over-the-counter pain killers generally are enough to relieve the pain and discomfort.

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Gum surgery is often a last resort.

Many less-invasive and nonsurgical treatments are available, and most of the time, they work. Gum disease or other damage can be stopped or slowed and surgery can be avoided.

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