Ask any dentist and they will tell you the same thing: healthy gums are the first step to a healthy smile. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that gum health is secondary to tooth health. To have healthy teeth you need healthy gums. At the dental office of Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS in Asheville, NC, our compassionate care includes protecting your overall oral health with gum surgery.
5 Things to Know About Gum Surgery
1. Gum Surgery Has Been Revolutionized
Surgery for the gums is almost as old as the practice of dentistry itself. However, like any other surgery, this is a procedure that has been refined over the years. Recent improvements in technology and surgical techniques have completely revolutionized surgery for the gums.
The Technique of the Past
As recently as 15 years ago, the only way to fix receding gum lines was a soft tissue grafting in the mouth. This technique was painful and involved removing tissue from the roof of the mouth and transplanting it to other areas of the mouth along the gum lines. Soft tissue grafting involved heavy sedation, stitches in the mouth, and long recovery times, all of which were more than enough reason for many patients to go without treatment they desperately needed.
The Technique of the Present
Today, surgery for the gums is much different. With the creation of the Pinhole Surgical Technique, there is now a minimally invasive surgical technique that takes advantage of the rapid healing abilities of gum tissue. Much like the name sounds, the Pinhole Surgical Technique involves creating small holes and stretching gums toward receding areas. This technique is a relatively painless option that can be performed on virtually every patient.
2. Surgery Treats Gum Disease
Even though dentists encourage regular brushing, flossing, and cleanings, the fact of the matter is that gum disease is still one of the most prevalent oral health issues in America. In fact, an estimated 47% of adults over 30 and roughly 70% of older adults have gum disease. Gum disease is even present in many children.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are many symptoms of gum disease that people write off as “normal”. But in fact, there is nothing normal about red gums or any amount of bleeding when flossing or brushing the teeth. Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen, puffy, or tender gums
- Red or purple gums
- Gums that bleed during flossing or brushing
- Receding gum lines
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth or new spaces between the teeth
- Painful or awkward chewing
Common Causes of Gum Disease
Almost all gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque along the gumline, which can cause inflammation like gingivitis and more serious symptoms of periodontitis, such as tooth loss. Overall, plaque is bad for your teeth and your gum health.
Regular brushing and routine dental cleanings might manage plaque build-up, but there are other causes of gum disease, including:
- Medical conditions
- Lifestyle habits
Why Gum Disease Is Harmful
Gum disease is harmful to your health, and not just your oral health! While gum disease certainly puts the health of your teeth at risk, it is also a fact that prolonged gum disease is associated with other health conditions, particularly heart disease and diabetes. It is always best to stop gum disease during the early stages before it progresses and becomes more difficult to treat.
3. Gum Surgery Is Virtually Painless
With the Pinhole Surgical Technique, surgery for the gums has never been easier. This surgery has a relatively short recovery time and is generally painless both during and after the treatment. In fact, the majority of patients are recovered from their oral surgery within 24 hours of treatment. That means no bleeding, no swelling, no stitches, and no food restrictions as soon as the day following surgery.
4. Surgery Is Beneficial
Surgery for the gums has many benefits that are attractive to patients. Aside from correcting gum health and ensuring good oral health for a long time, surgery for the gums also has two other main benefits.
A big part of dentistry is making sure that each smile is attractive, which means having healthy gums. The cosmetic benefit of this surgery means that your smile will be healthy and your teeth will have an ideal shape at the gumline.
Another benefit to a perfected smile with healthy gums is the boost of confidence you will have. Not only will your smile be ideal, but you will also not have to worry about the bad breath associated with gum disease.
5. Many Patients Are Qualified
Some patients wonder if they are qualified for surgery to correct gum disease, and the short answer is yes. The majority of patients are qualified for this treatment, which we will confirm at your consultation appointment. Ideal candidates include patients who want to:
- Correct a receding gumline
- Treat symptoms of gum disease
- Enjoy long-term results
Rejuvenate Your Gums With Gum Surgery!
A perfect smile is one that is made with healthy teeth and healthy gums. If you think that gum surgery might be the right way to rejuvenate your gums, contact Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS in Asheville, NC to schedule your initial consultation today!