Gum grafting can be carried out on gums that have receded, and while it may improve the appearance of a smile, it can also protect your teeth against the effects of gum recession. Gum recession is caused by the gum tissue surrounding teeth beginning to recede, so more of the tooth is visible or even so you can see the roots. This can cause damage to the bone surrounding the tooth.
Lots of people have some degree of gum recession as it is often a side effect of advanced gum disease or periodontal disease. Many people don’t even realize that their gums have receded as it is a gradual process. Over time the teeth can begin to look longer, and they may begin to feel more sensitive particularly when eating hot and cold foods. It is important to treat substantial gum recession as otherwise it could eventually lead to tooth loss, and a gum graft we perform in Midtown Manhattan, NYC office can help restore lost tissues.
Gum Graft Surgery?
There are several different types of gum grafts, depending on your specific needs. Your options can include:
An allograft is an artificial gum tissue graft and is highly effective. Our dentist will place the artificial graft, which is a little like a matrix, into the area that needs repairing. The matrix creates a strong biological framework that enables the gums to begin repairing themselves through prompting the growth of brand new tissue cells. This is because the matrix contains sophisticated growth factors that draw stem cells from the bone marrow to the graft site, creating the right environment for tissue regeneration.
The regeneration process restores the tissue to its original condition, so it functions and feels like proper gum tissue, and has the full elasticity and resilience associated with healthy tissue. This is quite different from scar tissue created in response to an injury, and which does not have the appearance and elasticity associated with normal tissue. As the new gum tissue grows, the original matrix is gradually absorbed into the gums, becoming part of the newly created tissue. This is our most widely used graft as the results are so good and unlike the other gum grafts listed below, there is no need to take tissue from another area in your mouth.
Connective Tissue Graft
Connective tissue graft which is used to treat exposed tooth roots. During this surgery procedure a small flap is cut into the roof of your mouth so some of the tissue underneath can be removed. This tissue is called subepithelial connective tissue and is subsequently stitched in place around the exposed to tooth root. The flap in the roof of the mouth is then stitched down.
Free Gingival Graft
Free gingival grafts are quite similar, and use tissue from the roof of the mouth. However instead of creating a flap, a small piece of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and is used to cover up the exposed tooth area being treated. This surgery procedure might be recommended if your gum tissue is already quite thin, as the graft can help build up the gums in this area.
Pedicle grafts are grafted from the gums near the affected tooth. A flap of tissue is cut away, but remains attached at one edge. It is then pulled into position so it covers up the exposed tooth root and is firmly stitched in position. This procedure is only suitable for people who have plenty of available gum tissue in the area being treated.
Gum Graft Recovery?
We will give you precise instructions on how to look after the area being treated. You shouldn’t brush or floss around the gum line that was treated until the area has healed. During this time you will keep your mouth clean using a special mouthwash that helps control plaque during the hearing process. We might also prescribe antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection. It’s best to stick to soft foods for a week or two after treatment, and to avoid eating anything too hot. The source of the gum graft in your mouth should heal relatively quickly, and any discomfort can generally be controlled with prescription pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. You should be able to return to work a day or so after surgery although your mouth will probably need one to two weeks to fully heal.
Gum grafts can be extremely effective at repairing the effects of gum recession, but it is important to look after your gums in the future. This will help prevent further damage and will reduce the likelihood of needing another gum graft.
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