Gum Surgery

Willow Glen Dental Specialists

Periodontists & Endodontists located in San Jose, CA

Once periodontal disease advances, gum surgery may be necessary to prevent further damage to your tooth-supporting structures. At Willow Glen Dental Specialists in San Jose, California, the oral care team specializes in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. If you need gum surgery to protect your oral health, call the team at Willow Glen Dental Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Gum Surgery Q & A

What is gum surgery?

Gum surgery is a procedure used to treat advanced periodontal disease or gum disease. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque — a sticky form of bacteria — builds up on your teeth. As the disease progresses, plaque can become trapped beneath your gum line. Once trapped, plaque forms pockets of bacteria that release toxins that damage your tooth-supporting structures.

If non-surgical treatments, such as a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), don’t prevent the disease from advancing, gum surgery may be the appropriate course of treatment.

Are there different types of gum surgery?

There are several types of gum surgery. After an evaluation of your oral health, the team at Willow Glen Dental Specialists can determine which type of gum surgery best suits your needs. 

The most common types of gum surgery are:

Osseous surgery

Also called pocket reduction surgery, osseous surgery cleans the pockets of plaque and bacteria beneath your gum line. During this procedure, the team surgically folds back your gums and uses special tools to remove any pockets of plaque. Then they reattach your gums to your teeth to prevent bacteria from penetrating beneath the gum line again.

Crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is typically a cosmetic procedure, but it can also treat gum disease. Many people opt for crown lengthening to treat a “gummy smile.” An overgrowth of gum tissue creates an imbalance in the appearance of your teeth and gums. It also gives plaque more places to hide.

During this procedure, the team surgically removes excess gum tissue from your teeth and cleans any hidden plaque. Then they reattach your gums to your teeth.


During regeneration surgery, the team folds back your gums and removes any pockets of plaque and bacteria. Instead of reattaching your gums, the team inserts a graft or membrane that encourages your gum tissue to grow back healthier. The goal is for your gums to fit more tightly against your teeth to prevent periodontal disease.

Soft tissue graft

A soft tissue graft is necessary when you have receding gums due to periodontal disease. Receding gums aren’t merely a cosmetic issue. They also leave the roots of your teeth susceptible to damage. During this procedure, the team takes tissue from another area of your mouth and attaches it to your gums.

Does gum surgery hurt?

It’s normal to feel slight pain after gum surgery. However, the procedure should not be overly uncomfortable. The team uses an anesthetic to keep you comfortable during treatment. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers can help reduce pain and inflammation after gum surgery.

To learn more, call Willow Glen Dental Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.