What is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting is often used to protect your teeth from dental erosion, improve your smile and fix areas of gum recession. Sometimes a gum graft is used for cosmetic purposes to enhance or improve the look of a smile.
How Can Gum Grafting Benefit Me?
When gum recession is present, areas of the teeth that used to be covered by gum, are now exposed. Leaving those areas of the tooth exposed, puts them at risk for increased acid exposure and toothbrush abrasion. Gum recession affects four to twelve percent of the adult population and it usually is not noticeable, until it progresses to a severe case.
Do I Need Gum Grafting?
Most people do not realize that their gum is receding because it usually happens slowly and over a period of time. Some people may experience tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods once their gum has receded, or if it has receded for a long period of time.
If a significant amount of bone has also been lost, the gum tissue will recede even more, which can leave parts of the tooth’s root exposed. This can lead to increased sensitivity and in some cases even tooth loss if left untreated.
If you experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods or you can see your tooth’s root, you may require gum grafting and/or bone grafting as well.
What Is The Process?
There are three types of gum grafting:
Connective tissue grafting: Usually used to treat exposed tooth roots. A portion of tissue is removed from under the roof of the mouth and is placed on top of the exposed root and sutured, then left to heal. Gum tissue from tissue banks may also be used by your dentist.
Free gingival grafting. Tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth, instead of from under the roof of the mouth, sutured and left to heal. Usually performed for people with thinner gums to enlarge their gums. Gum tissue from tissue banks may also be used by your dentist.
Pedicle grafting. Tissue is grafted from the gums around or near the tooth requiring treatment. Existing gum tissue is cut leaving one side attached. The gum is manipulated to adequately cover the exposed root area and sutured. Only those with enough gum tissue are candidates for this procedure.
If you experience constant sensitivity to hot or cold foods, notice that you have receding gums or you can see your tooth’s root. Contact us so that we can explain the different treatment options available to help you address all your concerns and improve your smile.