What is Gum Graft Surgery?
Are changes to your gumline affecting the overall look of your smile? You may be experiencing gum recession, a condition where the gumline migrates away from the tooth. Gum (gingival) recession commonly affects the smiles of many patients and may be caused by gum disease, bruxism (teeth grinding), genetics, and additional situations. When the gum recedes, the tooth roots become visible. This can dampen the quality of the smile by creating an uneven appearance and making teeth look longer. Gum recession also increases the risk of cavities forming on the tooth surfaces and damage to the roots from foods and drinks or overaggressive brushing habits.
If gum recession has changed your smile, you may be a candidate of gum grafting surgery for gingival recession treatment. A gum graft uses gum tissue from another source, such as your own mouth or a tissue bank, and restores an even and healthier gumline by adding these tissue samples to areas of recession. A consultation with general dentist Dr. Peter Nishino at Made Ya Smile Dental in Friendswood, TX can help you learn your treatment options and whether gum grafting may be a good choice for your needs. Dr. Nishino may partner with a periodontal specialist to ensure you get the comprehensive care needed to enjoy a beautiful and vibrant smile.
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What Are the Benefits of Gum Grafting?
At Made Ya Smile, gum grafting offers several benefits for women and men in Friendswood, TX with receding gums and related dental circumstances. Some of these advantages include:
- Stops additional recession: Balances the gum tissue, preventing further recession and degradation of gums
- Safeguards uncovered roots: Shields the fragile teeth roots from outside circumstances, diminishing sensitivity and pain
- Minimizes tooth loss risk: Strengthens the section by the teeth, minimizing the likelihood of tooth loss caused by compromised support
- Improves oral wellness: By handling root exposures, gum grafting could reduce the chance of root cavities and other associated oral wellness conditions.
- Boosts appearance: Produces a more smooth and agreeable gum line, enhancing the complete aesthetic of one's smile
Do I Need Gum Graft Surgery?
Gum recession may result from a range of sources, including misaligned teeth, oral piercings, teeth clenching or grinding, aggressive home care, and genetics. However, the most common cause of gum recession is gum (periodontal) disease. Since the progression of gum recession is usually gradual, you may not notice right away if this condition is altering your gumline. Dr. Nishino can evaluate your smile through a consultation and let you know if gum graft surgery may be a good option to treat gum tissues that have receded and changed your smile. Get in touch with our Friendswood, TX practice if you have one or more of these gum recession indications:
• Tooth sensitivity (hot or cold temperatures)
• Darker tooth shade near the gumline
• Uneven or jagged-looking gums
• Teeth that now appear longer
• An aging appearance to your smile
How is Gum Graft Surgery Performed?
When you visit Made Ya Smile Dental for care, you can expect for our team to make your treatment as comfortable as possible. We use a local anesthetic to effectively numb treatment sites and offer sedation dentistry options for patients who may feel nervous about undergoing gum grafting surgery. Gum grafting works by returning the gumline to a healthier level by adding tissue samples taken from your own mouth (or sometimes another source) to areas that have receded. By doing this, we can cover exposed gum tissues and create a more attractive and youthful-looking smile.
Dr. Nishino may partner with a periodontal specialist who will determine the best gum grafting approach for your treatment needs. Connective tissues grafts, the most common form, use gum tissue that is taken from the roof of your mouth, located beneath the top layer of tissue. Free gingival gum grafts also utilize tissue from the hard palate usually taken off the top layer. A pedicle graft is used when ample tissue is located near a tooth with a recession. A small flap is made in the gums, allowing it to be stretched over the exposed root to cover and protect a neighboring tooth. After the tissue samples are effectively sourced, they will be sutures in place (to your existing gumline) and allowed to heal. The end result of gum graft surgery is a gumline that is returned to a more attractive, healthier level and protects the root surfaces of teeth in a natural way.
Some grafting procedures are performed with tissue sourced from a donor bank or synthetic (yet biocompatible) material, such as when using tissue from the patient's own body is not ideal. As the grafted sites heal, the tissue samples will integrate seamlessly with the gums to generate a healthier gumline and restore the gums to a normal level. Gum grafting may take a few visits to complete, depending on the number of areas to treat and where in the mouth they are located. Specific instructions on how to care for your gums as they heal will be provided to you during your visit.
How Long is the Recovery After Gum Surgery?
You may still be numb from the anesthetic when you leave your visit. Please avoid eating until the numbness effect has fully worn off. You may want to take it easy for the first few days after your treatment. If you have any gum tenderness or oral discomfort, cold compresses against the jaw, a soft food diet, and over-the-counter pain medication can be very helpful in providing relief while you heal. Since your new tissues will take some time to blend with your gums, it is a good idea to follow the team's instructions on how to care for teeth and gums when brushing and flossing at home. A medicated mouthwash may also be recommended to better manage bacteria and plaque accumulation while your delicate gum tissues go through the process of integrating with your gumline. At each of your routine cleaning visits with Made Ya Smile Dental in Friendswood, TX, Dr. Nishino and our team will continue to monitor your gums and offer tips on how to keep your new gumline healthy.
Does Insurance Cover Gum Surgery?
As a periodontal procedure, gum grafting may be covered in part by your dental insurance plan. If Dr. Nishino recommends gingival recession treatment, our team will look into whether or not your plan offers coverage. Made Ya Smile Dental wants all patients to be able to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy and attractive smile and accepts several convenient payment options, including low- to no-interest financing plans through CareCredit®.
Gum Grafting FAQ
Is gum grafting painful?
You should not feel any pain during your gum grafting treatment. Our team will use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area to ensure you remain comfortable. You may feel some pressure or movement during your treatment, but it should not be painful.
How long does gum grafting take?
A gum grafting treatment typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half. If you want to find out if gum grafting could benefit your oral health, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Should I avoid any foods or drinks following my gum graft procedure?
There are certain foods we recommend you avoid to protect your gum graft. These foods can include:
- Tough substances like raw vegetables or steaks
- Citrus, including fruits, tomatoes, or lemonade
- Sticky substances like candy or bagels
- Spicy foods like peppers
- Crunchy foods like popcorn, potato chips, or nuts
Treatment for Gum Recession
Even if gum recession has changed the appearance of your smile, you can still enjoy an attractive and healthy grin with gum grafting treatment. Performed to restore a healthy gumline, gum grafting uses tissue samples from your mouth or another option to replenish areas of the gumline that have receded. The end result brings the gumline to a proper level on the teeth and effectively covers exposed tooth roots to minimize sensitivity and the risk of damage. Get back to loving your smile after gum recession and learn if gum grafting from Made Ya Smile Dental is your solution. Schedule a visit with Dr. Nishino for a gum recession evaluation at our Friendswood, TX practice today.