There are several conditions of the gums that may require surgical treatment, even in spite of your attentive care and hygiene.
Chronic bacterial infection in the gums, called periodontal or gum disease, is very common in adults. In early stages, the gums are red and bleed easily. In later stages, teeth emit a foul odor and may become loose. Although antibiotics, hygiene aids and surgical procedures help control periodontal disease, extraction is the only appropriate treatment for severely diseased teeth.
It may seem like a good idea to keep your natural teeth until they are painful, loose, or obviously hopeless. Such a delay in extraction results in more severe bone loss in the jaw, and may cause the need for more extensive bone graft reconstruction to achieve dental implant success.
Gum recession progresses slowly as we age. It can accelerate greatly if the gum tissues are thin and fragile or if there is over-aggressive brushing. Exposed roots may be quite sensitive and may pose cosmetic problems.
Areas of gum recession can often be repaired using a gingival graft. We harvest a section of healthy gum tissue (gingiva) from your palate and graft it over the exposed root. This prevents future recession, and may also restore the contours of your gum line, leaving you with a more attractive smile.
Actual patient treated with gum tissue grafting to treat recession.
Another type of gum tissue surgery called crown-lengthening is sometimes needed. If a tooth is decayed or broken below the gum line, too little of the tooth is exposed to adequately prepare the tooth for restoration. In the crown lengthening procedure, we adjust the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth and allow restoration.
Crown-lengthening is sometimes performed strictly to improve the appearance of your smile when teeth may actually be the proper size, but they appear too short because they are covered by too much gum tissue. This can result in a "gummy" appearance of the teeth. Crown-lengthening can set the gum line at a more natural, symmetrical, and attractive level.
Actual patient treated with crown-lengthening to recontour the gum tissues.
"Dr. Stout and his staff were wonderful. They made every visit pleasant and the results were fantastic. I am proud to smile again!"
- Marilyn T.,
"I heard horror stories about having oral surgery with just Novocaine. Not me. I was asleep and I didn't feel a thing!"