A gum graft can be an effective treatment for gum recession. When you get to a certain age and your gums are receding, your dentist may suggest it as a way to save your teeth.
According to Medical News Today, a gum graft is dental surgery where a periodontist removes gum tissue from one area of your mouth and uses it to build up gum where it has receded around a tooth.
Why Do Gums Recede?
Gum recession is typically a slow process and is simply the wearing away of gum tissue around a tooth. You often experience it as increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods. If gum recession becomes extensive, you can lose the tooth that the gum was helping to hold in place.
What Is the Procedure for a Gum Graft?
The procedure usually begins with applying a local anesthetic to numb the area. The periodontist may also lift some of your gum away to clean around the root of the tooth.
Various types of gum graft procedures exist, and your periodontist will examine your mouth and gums and discuss options with you. Procedures include:
- Connective tissue grafts. The periodontist takes tissue from the roof of your mouth by creating a flap and removing tissue from underneath the top layer. Next, the tissue is stitched to the existing tooth to cover the exposed tooth root. Last, the flap on the roof of the mouth is stitched together where the tissue was removed.
- Free gingival grafts. The periodontist removes tissue directly from the top layer of tissue on the roof of the mouth and then stitches the tissue to the existing gum area around the tooth.
- Pedicle (lateral) grafts. When the patient has a lot of gum tissue growing near the exposed tooth, the periodontist grafts tissue from the gum that is around or near the receding tooth. The periodontist partially cuts the tissue but keeps one edge attached and stretches the tissue over and down around the tooth so it covers the root. Then stretched tissue is also stitched to hold the gum in place.
Do You Have Questions About Your Dental Care?
At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, our dentists can explain your options and help you choose the best treatment.