Do You Need a Gum Graft? A gum graft is often recommended for people who have receding gums. At Fay Periodontal Associates, we have all the latest instruments and equipment to ensure success when a patient is treated for gum recession and needs a gum graft. The following information will give you more details about this procedure.
What Is a Gum Graft and When Is It Used?
The idea of a gum graft is to rebuild the gum after it has receded. It is a relatively easy and quick way to repair the problem. The surgery involves removal of healthy gum tissue from the mouth’s roof and placing it at the recession site.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession develops when the gum wears away and exposes the tooth at the root. When this occurs, you may experience more tooth sensitivity, particularly when you eat or drink cold or hot foods or beverages. Gum recession can progress slowly. Therefore, you may not be aware that you have it. Gum recession, if left untreated, can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Why You May Choose a Gum Graft
While some people elect to have a gum graft to improve the looks of their smile, other patients choose the graft to protect an exposed tooth from further dental damage, or to fix current damage to the tooth. We feature a number of grafts for our patients - each of which are directed for a patient’s specific needs.
What Types of Gum Grafts are Performed?
Three different gum grafts are performed for receding gums. These grafts include connective tissue gum grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle or lateral gum grafts. During a connective tissue graft, tissues are removed from the mouth’s roof by creating a flap. The tissue is then removed beneath the top layer. Afterwards, the tissue is stitched on the receded gum to hide the exposed root of the tooth. Stitches are also made where the gum tissue was taken.
During a free gingival gum graft, the tissue is removed directly from a mouth’s roof and stitched onto the site of the recession. People who have thin gums often choose this procedure. During a lateral or pedicle gum graft, tissue is grafted from the gum near the treatment site. Only part of the tissue is cut away, which leaves one edge still affixed. The tissue is then stretched over the exposed root and held in place with stitches. This gum graft is often used when the patient has a lot of gum tissue growing close to the recession site.
What Do I Have to Do to Prepare for a Gum Graft?
If you decide to have a gum graft, you do not have to do that much to prepare for the procedure. However, you will need to arrange for a family member or friend drive you home, as you will receive a local anesthetic and will experience some discomfort. We will prescribe a medication to manage the pain. You can support recovery by avoiding brushing or flossing at the site of the surgery. Also, it helps to use a special mouthwash to prevent the accumulation of plaque.
If you would like to know more about gum grafts to treat recession, we, at Fay Periodontal Associates, can help. Give us a call today at (816) 673-2230 for all the details and to schedule an appointment for a consultation.