When dealing with advanced gum recession, the tooth roots can become exposed. A gum graft surgery will be utilized to cover roots or create gum tissue where it has receded or gone missing because of an advanced case of gingival recession. During the gum graft procedure, your periodontist takes gum tissue from either your palate or from another donor source. This tissue is grafted onto the affected areas, covering the roots and protecting your tooth from bone loss. This procedure can be done to an entire gum line successfully, or just one tooth. Protecting the root of your tooth will not only improve your smile, but it will also reduce sensitivity you may be experiencing from the tooth.
In the event that you notice your gums seem to be moving away from teeth, your dental specialist may suggest a gum grafting surgery. When the foundations of our teeth are exposed by gum recession, your tooth becomes more inclined to rot, as well as create issues with sensitivity and exposure to damage.
To correct receding gums, a gingival graft, or gum graft, is a commonly-used and respected treatment option. The experts at Rockwell Oral and Facial Surgery have the tools and experience to take care of you with both tenderness and professionalism.
When undergoing a gum graft procedure, our first step is to remove tissue from the roof of your mouth, or possibly other available gum tissue. From here, we attach the tissue to the area your natural gum line has receded from the tooth. The entire gum grafting surgery takes very little time, and you’ll be ready to go as soon as we finish.
A gum grafting procedure stops the decline of your gum line and the bone loss that comes with it. Our patients have gum grafting performed for both esthetics as well as to improve the function and health of their teeth. If you’d like to speak with one of our friendly professionals, give us a call today or send us a message.
Preparing for a gum grafting is much less stressful than what one generally considers when preparing for ‘surgery.’ With a gum grafting, you do not need to worry about fasting or adjusting your diet in the hours or days before you come in to the office. As long as you’re here on time, you’ve just about prepared for everything you need to prepare for.
Nonetheless, you will have to work out transportation to and from the procedure. If we feel they are necessary, we might give you pain medication for any pain or discomfort you could possibly experience from the procedure. Mixing these medications with driving is never a good idea, and we want to make sure you make it home safely. As long as you have a friend, or use a car service, we can get started!
When you enter our office you will be greeted by our friendly staff at the front desk. We will take you to your room where the procedure will begin, after a local anesthesia is administered to help avoid any discomfort for you.
Pedicle Graft – We begin this graft by creating a flap of gum tissue next to the target area, and using this flap to cover the receding gums. Unlike other grafting options, this graft is performed using tissue adjacent to the affected area, rather than being transported from a different part of the inside of your mouth. This grafting procedure is often the type that works very well and is the most successful. Rather than removing the tissue completely and relying on your body to rebuild all the blood vessels needed to maintain the relocated the tissue, the pedicle graft technique keeps blood flow maintained throughout the procedure and healing process. This procedure has to be done with an adequate amount of gum tissue in the immediate area to work with.
Free Gingival Graft – Unlike the Pedicle Graft, this procedure has us start with the removal of a small section of gum tissue from the roof of your mouth which is then moved to the targeted area, and stitched in place. If our patient has thin gums in the area we are focusing on, this technique will be used most often. This is the best way when dealing with thinning gums to make sure that no further recession takes place.
Connective Tissue Graft – This technique is the most widely used option when patients are having gum grafting performed. Like the Free Gingival Graft, this procedure includes using tissue from the roof of your mouth. But unlike the Free Gingival Graft, we open a flap then remove the connective tissue that is located under the top layer of your mouth’s roof tissue. This connective tissue is then sutured to the area we are focusing on.
No matter the option you decide to take with your dentist, the entire procedure does not take very long at all. At the end of the procedure, we will have you perform a quick rinse of your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash and send you on your way with instructions to ensure your healing process goes smoothly.
Upon completion of your gum grafting, you will be able to go home very shortly. Occasionally, we might keep a patient for an hour or so to make sure that the tissue has grafted properly and there aren’t any issues that need to be taken care of before you leave our office and the supervision of our staff.
The first couple of weeks, we recommend maintaining a diet of cold, soft foods to keep the possibility of damaging your healing graft as low as possible. Avoid eating either hot or hard foods for a week or two, as these can cause irritation in your mouth or possibly burn the graft as it will be very sensitive to high temperatures.
There are plenty of delicious foods to eat during this time, and you’ll have an excuse as well in your recovery!
During your recovery, we recommend you avoid any activities such as brushing and especially flossing near or around the healing area. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash during this time will help avoid plaque buildup, infections, and other graft issues. Avoiding flossing or brushing around the area at this time can keep you from accidentally opening the wound, removing a suture, or causing an infection.
Strenuous activities can spike your blood pressure and ask a lot from your tissue recovering from recent gum grafting. Until the time we have told you at your appointment, we believe it is best to avoid any such activities to avoid any complications.
If you have any issues with discomfort or pain, often naproxen (Aleve) can help by reducing swelling and pain response to the brain. If you continue to experience pain, give us a call and we can make sure there’s no larger issue.
After a couple of weeks, you should find yourself to be fully healed from the gum grafting procedure. We will want to see you for a follow-up appointment so we can verify that the graft has healed properly and without any issues. From this point, we should be fine with you flossing and brushing like normal. The entire healing process may take up to a month, so precautions must still be taken but regular eating and drinking, coupled with proper mouth care of course, can be enjoyed without a problem.
Our friendly professionals are experts in gum grafting and we will walk you step by step through everything. Give our office a call and schedule your appointment today.