What is Gum Grafting?
Gum disease – which is also referred to as periodontal disease – is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It’s caused by the sticky plaque that builds up on your teeth and hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. Your risk of gum disease increases if you smoke or have diabetes.
This disease can have serious effects on your oral health if it’s not treated early. It can cause your gums to become sore, bleed and start to recede, and you could lose one or more teeth.
What is gum grafting?
Gum grafting is a type of dental surgery that is used to repair receding gums caused by gum disease. It also helps prevent future dental problems such as further infection, and the procedure can improve the appearance of your smile. To perform a gum graft, your dentist will graft healthy gum tissue – which is usually taken from another area of your mouth – onto the receded area.
How can gum grafting help with gum disease?
Gum disease that’s not treated will continue to get worse. The exposed roots need to be covered to reduce your pain and ensure that the damage doesn’t get worse.
What are the different types of gum grafting procedures?
Your doctor will recommend the type of gum graft that’s most appropriate for your needs. The most common types include the following:
- Connective tissue graft – A flap is created in the roof of your mouth so your doctor can remove tissue, which is then attached to your existing gum tissue where your tooth root is exposed.
- Free gingival graft – Tissue is removed directly from the roof of your mouth without forming a flap. It’s then attached to the recessed area of your gums.
- Pedicle graft – This type of graft uses tissue adjacent to the tooth that needs repair. It can be performed only if you have enough gum tissue near your exposed root.
What should you expect during and after the procedure?
You’ll undergo a deep cleaning above and below the gum line to remove tartar. A local anesthetic is usually administered, and a small incision is made at the site where your tissue is being taken from. This tissue is then carefully placed, and both sites are stitched closed.
After your procedure, you’ll need to avoid brushing or flossing the treated area until it can heal. You also may need to use a special mouth rinse to help control plaque while you heal, and your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to reduce your risk of infection.
The surgery site may be sore, so you’ll want to eat soft, cool foods for a week or two. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or prescription pain medicine. The day after surgery, you can usually return to work and your normal activities.
If you have sore, bleeding, or receding gums, contact Dental365 today or walk in for a consultation. We have many convenient locations throughout New York to help serve you at your convenience.