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What is Flap Surgery?

Are your gums sore, irritated or inflamed? Do they bleed when you brush or floss? If so, you may be suffering from gum disease. Healthygum disease gums are vital to a healthy mouth. However, with studies showing about 75% of American adults have gum disease. Luckily, gum disease is a treatable and reversible condition with help from your dentists Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX.

What is gum disease? 
Your gums protect the teeth’s roots and bone from bacteria and infection. However, sometimes bacteria that live on the teeth infect the gums, causing gum disease. In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis occurs when the bone and soft tissues of the mouth and gums become infected and damaged. Aside from bleeding and irritated gums, periodontitis causes the gums to recede and expose the teeth’s roots. It also causes bone and tooth loss.

How is gum disease treated? 
The earlier gum disease is caught, the more manageable it is. This makes your twice yearly dental examinations and cleanings one of the best preventative measures you can take against gum disease. Dentists treat gingivitis by removing the plaque buildup from the teeth using a procedure called scaling. Scaling is a deep cleaning procedure which reaches all the way up the tooth’s root to remove plaque and bacteria. Advanced cases of periodontitis, however, may need more aggressive treatment in the form of flap surgery from your Houston dentist.

What is flap surgery? 
During flap surgery, your doctor separates the gums from the teeth and folds the tissue up to clean underneath them. Moving the tissue completely out of the way gives your periodontist full access to the teeth’s roots and the bones which support them. Your periodontist might contour the bone to eliminate abnormalities or deformities. With the decay and inflamed tissue gone, the gums are replaced and stitched up.

Most patients have some discomfort after surgery. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication though many people only need over-the-counter medications. Special mouthwashes or rinses help keep bacteria and plaque off the teeth after surgery. Keeping the mouth as clean as possible while healing is a crucial post-operative measure.

For more information on gum disease and flap surgery, please contact Dr. Tiberiu Oancea and Dr. Jeromy L. Thornton at Today’s Dental in Houston, TX. Call (281) 580-0770 to schedule your appointment today!

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