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.
Gum Grafting FAQ
Q: What is this procedure like?
A: There are three main types of gum grafting procedures, which include free gingiva, pedicle, and connective-tissue grafts, the latter of which is easily the most common option available for the treatment or root exposure. The connective-tissue graft involves the removal of a small flap of skin that’s located at the roof of your mouth. This skin acts as a gum tissue and is placed around the affected tooth. The other two treatments have the same results but with slightly different procedures.
Q: How long is the recovery procedure with gum grafting?
A: Full recovery from a gum grafting procedure can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on the extent of the initial treatment. You should expect to go through slight discomfort and pain for the first few days following the procedure. If the pain is too severe, you may be provided with a prescription for pain relieving medications. Swelling and small amounts of bleeding can also occur for the first week in both the donor site and recipient site. If any of these symptoms become serious, make sure that you call our office immediately.
Q: Will I need multiple treatments?
A: While gum tissue grafts are an effective solution for a wide range of different gum issues, they don’t necessarily provide you with a permanent fix unless you maintain good oral health care techniques. Regular checkups at our dental office will allow us to keep an eye on the results of the gum graft to make sure that these issues don’t begin to display themselves again.
Q: When should I consider this treatment option?
A: If you’re experiencing any amount of gum recession, it’s recommended that you at least consider the gum grafting procedure. Gum recession can be caused by misaligned teeth, tobacco use, genetics, teeth clenching, and gum disease. Even if the tooth roots have yet to become exposed, it’s possible for gum recession to cause issues with the appearance of your smile. As such, you might want to consider gum grafting for cosmetic purposes.
Q: How can I benefit from a gum graft?
A: The wide array of benefits provided by a gum graft treatment include the fact that it prevents any additional gum recession and helps to provide you with a more even gum line. Additional benefits include a reduction in tooth sensitivity and protection from tooth decay.
Q: Is there any way to avoid needing surgery?
A: If you notice that your gums are receding, make sure to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Plantation immediately. Catching this issue early on may allow you to avoid surgery. Learning the correct brushing technique might be the best way to avoid surgery. Make sure that you brush and floss regularly. You should also think about using mouthwash at least once per day.
The specialists at Implantation Dental Center have received extensive training and experience in performing gum graft surgery. If you find that your gum line is worsening with each passing day, the gum graft procedure that we provide may be what you need to obtain a healthy and beautiful smile once more. Call us today if you have any questions about this treatment or would like to schedule your first appointment.