Gum Grafting

As we age, our gums start to recede which can eventually lead to exposing our teeth’s root. Exposed roots can cause many issues, such as tooth sensitivity and infection. If not resolved, this can eventually lead to tooth loss. Gum recession is a gradual process, so it is best to keep an eye on your gums if they start to feel uncomfortable. A gum graft will reposition your gums, improve appearance, and overall help you achieve a healthier smile! They will also fight bone structure loss and prevent root decay.

Receding gums have several common causes. It may be the result of periodontal disease, brushing your teeth too hard, grinding your teeth at night, and smoking. However, you can prevent needing a gum graft by visiting us for a cleaning to rid of plaque buildup before it can cause gum recession. There are three types of gum grafts that might be needed in order to correct receding gums:

Connective Tooth Grafts:
During this type of graft surgery, a piece of skin from under the roof your mouth, called the subepithelial connective tissue, is placed over the gums. This closes any exposed tooth roots you may have from a receding gum line.

Free Gingival Tooth Grafts:

Commonly used to thicken thin gums, a gingival tissue graft also uses skin from the roof of your mouth. However, in this case, the skin is directly removed from the top of the roof of the mouth.

Pedicle Tooth Grafts:
Unlike the other two gum grafts stated above, a pedicle tooth graft does not remove skin from the roof of the mouth. Instead, it uses the pedicle tissue from around the tooth to help cover the exposed root. For this type of gum graft to be performed, the person must have excess gum tissue around hisher teeth. Thus, this gum graft can only be performed on some patients.

After the gum grafts have been placed, you may feel some discomfort, especially if you had skin from your palate removed. It is important not to brush or floss your teeth during the healing process. You may also be asked to use a specific mouth wash to keep out infection. For at least a week after gum graft surgery, make sure to eat soft foods such as yogurt and mashed potatoes.

Once healed, remember to treat your teeth with care because it’s important to maintaining pristine oral health! If you do not, you may run the risk of needing another gum graft. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss and use a mouth wash daily, and visit us for regular checkups!