Endodontics is the field of dentistry that specifically addresses the health of the dental pulp inside of a tooth. In most cases, an infected tooth can be treated with non-surgical means, such as root canal therapy. But in some cases an infection is more difficult to treat, resulting in the need for surgical endodontic procedures that require cutting of the gum tissue.
As you recover from endodontic surgery, your gum tissue will go through a healing process that you may never have experienced before. It helps to know what healing gum tissue looks like so you can differentiate between what is normal, and what may require additional treatment.
Phases of Healing Gum Tissue
Gum tissue will go through a few phases until it is completely healed:
- Clotting. Your body’s natural response to injured tissue is to stop the bleeding. Platelets in your blood will gather at the site of the incision to form a blood clot that stops the bleeding and begins to heal the area. A blood clot typically looks dark red when it first forms, but this is completely normal. It may look like this for the first 24 hours.
- Forming of granulation tissue. In the next 24-48 hours following surgery the gum tissue will begin to heal, which involves the formation of granulation tissue. This tissue is typically white or cloudy over the incision, which sometimes causes concern for patients, but it is normal for healing gum tissue.
- Regeneration of tissue. By the third day following your surgery the tissue will begin to regenerate and reconnect where it was cut. This will continue for the next few days as the gum tissue repairs itself.
- Sutures dissolve or come out naturally. By the 7th day following your surgery the gum tissue should have healed enough that your sutures have naturally dissolved or come out on their own. This is typically an indication that the tissue is mostly healed. The area where the incision was should look like normal pink gum tissue that matches the healthy areas in your mouth.
What’s Not Normal?
There are some signs that your gum tissue is not healing properly. If you experience any of the following, contact your endodontist:
- Severe pain. Any discomfort you experience following your endodontic surgery should be manageable with over the counter pain medication. If your pain is severe and doesn’t respond to pain relievers, you may need a prescription.
- Excessive swelling. If your gum tissue or any part of your mouth or face swells up excessively, it may indicate an infection or allergic reaction to something you came in contact with during or after your surgery.
- Uncontrolled bleeding. Your endodontist will ensure that your bleeding is under control before sending you home. But if the bleeding increases after you get home or becomes uncontrollable, you may need additional care.
- Bright red gum tissue. The gum tissue will be red due to inflammation for the first 24-48 hours. But if the redness doesn’t fade after a few days it could indicate an infection.
- Abscess or pus. Another sign of a possible post-op infection is an abscess that forms on the gum tissue or pus leaking from the gum tissue.
If you have any concerns or questions about your recovery from endodontic surgery, please feel free to contact us.
Eagle Endodontics Provides Endodontic Surgery
There are a variety of surgical endodontic procedures that you may need to save a tooth. Eagle Endodontics specializes in the treatment of infected or at-risk teeth, providing the best chance of saving the natural tooth. We use the latest technology and best practices to shorten recovery time and reduce the chances of post-op complications.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment.