A gum graft is performed by an oral surgeon who removes healthy gum tissue from the mouth and uses it to build gum in area where it has receded.
Gum recession is when gum tissue pulls away from a tooth and exposes the tooth's root. This usually happens slowly, and many people may not notice that their gums have receded.
An exposed tooth root can cause tooth sensitivity, and, if not treated, cause severe gum disease and tooth loss. A gum tissue graft can repair the damage to the gum and help prevent future damage.
People can also have a gum graft done for a cosmetic reason such as improving their smile.
Before starting the gum graft, the oral surgeon will inject a local painkiller so that the procedure does not hurt. The oral surgeon then lifts up some of the existing gum to expose the root of the tooth and clean it. Now it’s time for the actual gum graft surgery.
There are three different types of gum graft surgery.
During a connective tissue gum graft, the oral surgeon opens the roof of the mouth, takes tissue from underneath the top layer and stitches the tissue onto the existing gum tissue to cover the exposed tooth root.
Similar to a connective tissue graft, a gingival graft is when an oral surgeon takes tissue directly from the top layer of tissue on the roof of the mouth and stitches it in the existing gum area. This can help people with thin gums who need more tissue to enlarge their gums.
Pedicle grafts are when the oral surgeon takes some gum tissue near an exposed tooth, stretches the tissue to cover the exposed tooth root, and then stitches it in place. This works well for people who have lots of gum tissue growing near the exposed tooth.
If an oral surgeon removes tissue from the roof of the mouth then a person may feel pain for a few days. The oral surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help manage the pain.
After gum grafting surgery, people should avoid flossing or brushing the grafting area, take antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection and avoid foods that are hard, hot or cold. The healing process usually 1 to 2 weeks.
If you are experiencing pain in your gums, please contact Dr. Molayem to get help. There is no reason to suffer in silence when help is just a phone call away.
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