Do you have gum recession? Gum disease, genetics, and lifestyle habits, and other factors can cause the delicate gum tissues to recede, exposing more of the tooth and increasing the risk of tooth decay. Unfortunately, once gum tissue is lost, it generally doesn’t return. Restore function and beauty to your appearance with gum grafting. Learn how this procedure can enhance your oral health.
What Is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafts are used to cover the roots of the teeth and restore a healthy, attractive smile after gum recession. Several options are available for gum grafting, but one of the most common is known as connective tissue grafting. In this procedure, tissue is removed from a donor site, often the roof of the mouth, and attached to the gum tissue near the treatment area. This grafted tissue will take hold over time, creating new, healthy gum tissue and restoring the appearance of your gums.
Since there are many types of gum grafting available and many sources for the tissue, we’ll discuss your options in depth during your consultation. Your treatment options will vary depending on the condition of your gums and your treatment needs.
What Are the Benefits of Gum Grafting?
Many patients choose gum grafting for aesthetic reasons, but looks aren’t the only reason to consider this procedure. A gum graft can halt further gum recession and bone loss. It covers the exposed roots and helps to protect them from tooth decay. It can reduce tooth sensitivity. Improve your appearance and your dental health with gum grafting.
Do I Need Gum Grafting?
For minor gum recession, gum grafting may not be needed. Talk with your dentist about the best treatment options for your gum recession. Once gum loss is more advanced, gum grafting is often the most effective treatment option. You may need gum grafting if:
- You have been told by your dentist that gum grafting is needed.
- You have moderate to severe gum recession.
- You have exposed roots and want to restore a more youthful and attractive smile.
- You want to improve your dental health after gum recession.
If you do need gum grafting, visit an oral surgeon to discuss your options. Gum grafting is a complex and delicate procedure and requires a highly skilled surgeon for optimal results.
Recovery After Gum Grafting- What to Expect
A successful gum graft requires careful attention during the recovery process. Good surgery alone won’t lead to lasting results if you don’t do your part during recovery. Follow our recovery instructions carefully and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
- Be Gentle– During the initial stages of recovery, your graft is held in place only by sutures. It takes time for a biological seal to develop and any trauma, even slight trauma, to the area can disrupt healing and cause a full or partial loss of the graft.
- Wear Your Palatal Stent- A palatal stent is placed at the donor site to aid with healing. Keep it in place for 48 hours, after which it can be removed for cleaning. After 48 hours, you only need to wear the stent as needed for comfort.
- Limit Physical Activity– Limit yourself to light physical activity for the first 10 days.
- Diet– We’ll provide very specific diet instructions during the healing process. Pay careful attention to these instructions. For the first 48 hours, we require a liquid only diet. On the third day, you can add in soft purees. Soft foods, with no chewing on the donor site, can be resumed after one week and harder foods after two weeks. Do not chew on the graft site for at least 4 weeks.
- Don’t Brush Until Instructed- Do not brush the graft site until we give the go-ahead. After you have been cleared to resume brushing, use only an ultra-soft toothbrush and take care to brush away from the graft, upward toward the top of the teeth.
How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?
After gum grafting, take care of your teeth to prevent future problems from occurring. Gum grafting provides long lasting results and many patients will not need retreatment. Good dental hygiene and proper care of your teeth and gums will increase the longevity of your graft.
- Brush 2x daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Follow your dentist’s advice for proper brushing and flossing.
- Floss daily.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months, more often if needed.
- Don’t smoke.
- Address dental problems quickly should they occur.
Restore your smile and dental health with gum grafting. If you have gum recession, come into our offices to learn more about this restorative procedure.