Our gums play a crucial role in ensuring optimal oral health. Therefore, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, may lead to severe problems, including bad breath and even tooth loss.
Various factors, such as genetics, family history, hormones, lack of dental care, aggressive bruising, etc., can cause our gums to recede, resulting in further adverse oral health conditions.
What is gum grafting?
The gum grafting procedure involves carefully removing a small amount of existing tissue and replacing it with new tissue—often used to prevent further gum recession or to cover exposed root surfaces of teeth. It is possible to use tissue from a variety of sources for this procedure, but usually it is taken from the palate (roof of the mouth) after it has been numbed for your comfort. Using suturing material that’s finer than human hair, it is delicately sutured (stitched) in the place where it is needed.
Following the grafting procedure, your body’s natural healing process takes over. During this time, new blood vessels grow into the graft, helping it integrate with the surrounding tissue. In addition to improving aesthetics, a successful graft can also reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity and further gum recession.
The procedure is common and relatively quick. A periodontist may suggest other treatment options or surgery depending on your oral health. By treating it early, you can reduce the risk of adverse health effects. In any case, it’s never too late to seek a diagnosis for gum grafting treatment with our periodontist.
Different types of gum graft procedures
Today, three types of gum grafting are available, including:
- Connective Tissue Graft: In this procedure, connective tissue from under the palate is used to cover exposed tooth roots.
- Free Gingival Graft: This procedure usually uses a smaller amount of flap to build up thin gums.
- Pedicle Graft: With this gum grafting technique, the gum tissue is misplaced and needs to be surgically repositioned.
When is a gum graft recommended?
It is highly recommended that you undergo gum grafting surgery under the care of a periodontist if the roots of your teeth are exposed as a result of receding gums. The pocket between the gums and the tooth formed by receding gums becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. When this bacteria buildup hardens into plaque and tartar, one is at risk for infections, tooth decay, and advanced gum disease, which can lead to bone and tissue loss and even tooth loss.
A receding gum line is not always visible to the naked eye, unlike a receding hairline. As such, even if one doesn’t notice a change in their gums, it is recommended to get regular dental check-ups to prevent permanent damage and tooth loss.
The gums play a crucial role in keeping our teeth in place and helping to maintain our general oral hygiene. It is therefore crucial that we get regular checkups to prevent adverse health effects and undergo surgery, if necessary.