What is Gingival Flap Surgery

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 18, 2013
Quick Bites

  • Gingival flap surgery is a dental procedure.
  • In this surgery gums are separated from teeth temporarily.
  • This allows dentist access to tooth root and bone.
  • It is used to treat severe gum disease aka periodontitis.

A severe gum disease (periodontitis) that cannot be cured with antibiotics or root planning and scaling, calls for a surgery. This surgery is a flap procedure that cleans the roots of a tooth and repairs bone damage caused by gum disease.

An oral surgeon or a gum specialist (periodontist) usually performs the procedure. He will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area where the doctor operates on your gums. He will pull back a section of your gums to clean the roots of your teeth and repair damaged bone. Then the gum flap will be sewn back into place and covered with gauze to stop the bleeding.

Through the surgery, the doctor may smooth and reshape your bone so that plaque has fewer places to grow. He may also repair it with bone from another part of the body or with man-made materials.

Gingival Flap Surgery

You might take only a few days to recover from flap procedure if you will follow all the home care instructions given to you by your dentist. He will probably tell you to:

  • Take painkillers as prescribed.
  • Wait for 24 hours before rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
  • Relax after surgery. Strenuous physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods such as gelatine, pudding, or light soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the area heals.
  • Not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
  • Carefully brush your teeth and tongue.
  • Apply an ice or cold pack to the outside of your mouth to help relieve pain and swelling.
  • Not use sucking motions, when using a straw to drink.
  • Not smoke.

A few days after the procedure, your dentist will remove the stitches. Maintaining a good dental care after flap procedure helps in stopping your gum disease. Your gums will return to being pink and healthy again.

Image Courtesy: Getty

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