Inflamed tissue will be removed from between the teeth and from any holes (defects) in the bone. The periodontist then will do a procedure called scaling and root planing to clean plaque and tartar. If you have bone defects, your periodontist may eliminate them. This procedure is called osseous recontouring. It smoothes the edges of the bone using files or rotating burs.
Finally, the gums will be placed back against the teeth and stitched in place. Some periodontists use stitches that dissolve on their own. Others use stitches that have to be removed a week to 10 days later. Your periodontist also may cover the surgical site with a bandage. This is called a periodontal pack or dressing.
It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible while the surgical site is healing. This means you should brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. If the surgical site is not covered by a periodontal pack, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove plaque from the teeth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are often prescribed after gum surgery. These rinses kill bacteria, delay plaque growth and help your mouth to heal.
You may have some swelling. This can be reduced if you apply an ice pack to the outside of your face in the treated area. In some situations, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent an infection. Be sure to take them as instructed. Your periodontist will want to reexamine the area in 7 to 10 days.
Your gums in the area that was treated are more likely to recede over time. The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to hot and cold. The teeth also are more likely to develop cavities in the roots.