Gum tissue grafts are surgical procedures performed to address the effects of gum recession. Gum recession is commonly associated with gum disease, aggressive brushing, or thin gum tissue where it can be characterized by gums that are pulling away from the tooth’s surface. Gum recession is primarily caused by chronic inflammation that gradually destroys the gum tissue, exposing more and more of your tooth root. During a gum graft, healthy gum tissue is grafted onto the exposed tooth roots in order to build up the tissue and cover the tooth roots.
Did You Know?
Untreated gum recession can eventually lead to tooth loss. This is because gum recession allows more bacteria to collect around the tooth root, which deteriorates the supportive structures around the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a gum graft?
You may need a gum graft if you have recessed gums that are exposing a large amount of your tooth roots that may cause hypersensitivity. You may also need a gum graft if you are having a dental implant placed and you do not have enough gum tissue to cover the implant. To determine if you need a gum graft, schedule a consultation with our Flushing, Queens periodontist at New York Dental Solutions today.
What can I expect when having a gum graft at New York Dental Solutions?
When undergoing a gum graft at New York Dental Solutions, you can expect to undergo a minor oral surgery that will require local anesthesia. There are several different gum grafting techniques that may be used, depending on your individual case. These include:
Free Gingival Graft (FGG)
The free gingival graft uses your own gum tissue from an unaffected area, usually the roof of the mouth, to cover the recessed gum line. Tissue will be removed from the roof of the mouth and then secured to the area lacking gum tissue. This approach is generally used for individuals with thin gums.
Connective Tissue Graft (CTG)
The connective tissue graft is similar to the FGG, except that it uses connective tissue from the roof of your mouth. In order to obtain this tissue, a flap will be made, the tissue will be harvested, then the flap will be sutured closed. The connective tissue graft will then be secured to the area lacking gum tissue. This is the most common type of gum graft.
The pedicle graft is similar to the other two types, however it does not use tissue from the roof of your mouth. Instead, a flap incision will be made from an adjacent area lacking gum tissue and the flap will be used to cover the tooth roots. This type of gum graft is one of the most successful approaches, however it requires that you have enough healthy gum tissue.
What can I expect after having a gum graft?
After having a gum graft, it is normal to experience some minor swelling and discomfort for the first few days. In most cases, you can expect your gum graft to heal within two weeks. In order to ensure that your gum graft heals properly, our periodontist will provide you with guidelines to follow after surgery.
At a glance, these can include:
- Diet: Eat soft foods for the first week and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot foods and beverages for the first day since they can cause excess bleeding or burns.
- Oral Hygiene: Gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. water) 24 hours after surgery, then 4-5 times daily for the first few days. Avoid brushing or flossing until directed by our periodontist.
- Medications: Take any antibiotics or pain medications as directed.
- Activity: Avoid strenuous activities until directed by our periodontist.