Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons, including aggressive tooth brushing or periodontal disease. Our periodontist can help you identify the factors contributing to the problem. Gum grafting will cover the exposed roots to protect them from decay, help reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, you'll receive the benefits of a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health: your keys to smiling, eating, and speaking with comfort and confidence.
DO YOU HAVE GUM RECESSION?
Gum recession does not happen overnight. You may not even notice that your gums have receded, as it is a very slow, gradual process. However, without a gum tissue graft, recession can have a detrimental effect on the health and function of your teeth. If your dentist has diagnosed you with gingivitis or periodontal disease, it is important to notice if:
- You have sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or even to sweet, spicy, or sour foods
- Your teeth appear longer than normal
- Spaces between your teeth seem to grow
- The roots of your teeth begin to show
GUM TISSUE GRAFTING
During the grafting procedure, a local anesthetic will be given to numb the areas involved. You may also receive medicine to help you relax. We want your experience in our office to be as comfortable as possible, so let us know if there is anything you need during your procedure.
Depending on your specific needs, the periodontist will perform one of three different types of gum tissue grafts.
- Connective tissue grafts: The most common method to treat root exposure, connective tissue grafting involves the periodontist relieve a flap of skin on the palate and remove tissue from under the flap, called sub-epithelial connective tissue. This tissue is then transplanted to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root.
- Free gingival grafts: Similar to a connective tissue grafting, a free gingival graft involves the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. But instead of making a flap and removing tissue under the top layer of gingival tissue, a small amount of tissue is moved directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area being treated. This method is used most often in people who have thin gums to begin with and need additional tissue thickness to enlarge the gums.
- Pedicle grafts: In this procedure, instead of taking tissue from the palate, it is grafted from gum around or near the tooth needing repair. The flap, called a pedicle, is only partially relieved so that one edge remains attached. The gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root and sewn into place. This procedure can only be done if you have plenty of gum tissue near the tooth.
Many factors will contribute to your chosen grafting technique. Our periodontist can tell you which method will work best for you, your health, and your smile.