Your teeth are supposed to have two main parts: the top part that’s exposed and the bottom part that’s supposed to be protected by the gum. Unfortunately, when that bottom part becomes exposed, it doesn’t usually end well.
The most common cause of this is gum disease. Disease or infection can cause the gums around the teeth to shrink and recede, exposing part of the root. This exposes part of the root to further infection as it’s not supposed to be exposed to bacteria and food particles. These further infections can cause additional shrinking of the gums, which eventually causes the tooth to fall out.
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure usually performed in your dentist’s office under sedation. The dentist or periodontist will remove a small flap of skin, usually from the palate, and will surgically attach it to your gums. This graft helps to lengthen your gums and protect the roots of your teeth.
While the most common cause of receding gums is gum disease, that’s not the only risk factor. Smoking or taking certain medications can cause receding gums as well.
Receding gums increase your risk of tooth loss, halitosis (bad breath), tooth decay, infection, and tooth or gum sensitivity. A gum graft can quickly reverse this process, even when the receding gums were caused by something other than gum disease.
It’s important with a gum graft that you practice proper oral hygiene after the procedure to keep your new gum tissue healthy, and your dentist will give you specific instructions for caring for your mouth after your surgery. To prevent future problems, regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental examinations will keep your gums and teeth healthy.
We invite you to contact our Plantation dental office for a consultation with one of our periodontic experts.