Gum Surgery Treatment: What To Expect

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There are many reasons why you may need gum surgery and many several treatments that your dentist might recommend. But generally, the recovery process is similar for most gum surgery treatments. Throughout the gum surgery treatment process, there are several things you can expect.


You will usually be given a local anesthetic to numb the area before surgery. Your teeth will usually be cleaned thoroughly before the surgery to prepare your mouth and to reduce the risk of infections. Your dentist will usually ask you about any medical issues or medications you are on that might affect the outcome of your gum surgery treatment.

During the Operation

For the majority of patients, the pain experienced during and after gum surgery is mild to moderate. The surgeon folds the gum tissue back to access the tissue underneath the gums. Any tissue that is infected is removed. Then, the dentist uses tooth scaling and root planing to remove plaque and bacteria that are below the gum line. This process helps smooth rough spots so that bacteria are less likely to form. Otherwise, you'd be at risk of developing gum disease again.


After the surgery, your gums are put back in place with stitches. Depending on the stitches used, your stitches might simply dissolve. Otherwise, you must have the stitches removed a week after your surgery. You may also have a special surgical dressing placed over the affected area. 

Pain Management

You may continue to feel pain after gum surgery, and your dentist might prescribe a pain medication. Otherwise, you should ask if there is an over-the-counter pain medication you should try. Your dentist might also prescribe antibiotics, and you should follow the instructions carefully.

Managing Bleeding

After the surgery, minor bleeding is common. Apply gauze to reduce bleeding. If your gums continue to bleed, bite down on the gauze. Do not rinse your mouth or spit excessively because this may make it more difficult for a blood clot to form.

Recovering from the Anesthetic

The anesthetics used to numb your mouth can last 6-8 hours. You may also feel groggy, so you should consider asking someone to drive you home from the dentist after having the surgery. Do not bite your lip or tongue because you might bite it too hard due to the numbness, causing injury. Communicate with your dentist so he or she can provide advice if you have any concerns.