Gum Grafting

Restoring Healthy Gums In cases of periodontal disease, inflamed and unhealthy gums often begin to recede from the teeth, leading to gum recession, which can result in pain and sensitivity. Gum grafting is a procedure designed to restore the gum's protective covering on the teeth and reduce sensitivity.

Healthy gums play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and preserving the well-being of your teeth. They create a seal around the roots of your teeth, protecting them. Maintaining healthy gums helps prevent infections and gum recession, which can be triggered by factors such as aggressive brushing, periodontal disease, and bruxism (teeth grinding).

Regardless of the underlying cause, gum recession can expose parts of your teeth that lack enamel protection, resulting in pain and sensitivity. This exposure allows bacteria to bypass the protective layers of teeth, potentially leading to increased tooth decay, which may necessitate root canals or extractions. Moreover, gum recession can alter the appearance of your smile by making your teeth appear longer.

What Is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure in which gum tissue is harvested from the soft palate at the back of the roof of the mouth. This tissue is then used to cover areas of the teeth that have been exposed due to gum recession. The graft serves to shield these exposed tooth surfaces and roots from bacteria and tartar, thereby reducing pain and sensitivity.

Mild cases of gum recession can be addressed with scaling and root planing, a non-invasive procedure in which your dentist cleans the areas affected by gum recession and the spaces beneath your gums where bacteria can accumulate and lead to decay. In advanced cases where scaling and root planing is insufficient to treat gum recession, a gum grafting procedure is performed to attach new gum tissue to the exposed areas of the teeth and roots.

Procedure Overview

There are three primary types of gum grafts: free gingival grafts, subepithelial connective tissue grafts, and pedicle grafts. Free gingival grafts involve taking tissue from the surface of the soft palate, while subepithelial connective tissue grafts are obtained from beneath a flap created on the soft palate. Pedicle grafts use gum tissue from an area adjacent to the recession site. Donor tissue may also be employed. Once the graft tissue is obtained, it is sutured to the area where gum recession has occurred. Aftercare Following the graft, your gums and the graft site may be tender. You'll need to consume soft foods for a week or two and avoid disturbing any stitches. Once your dentist removes the stitches, you can return to your regular diet.

While gum grafting can help slow down or even halt gum recession and infection, the gums remain susceptible to infection and recession. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper oral hygiene practices. Regular dental check-ups combined with daily brushing and flossing are crucial for preserving the health of your gums!