Read below to learn more about our Gum Grafting Procedures here in Wilkes-Barre, PA…
Gum recession is one of most common results of periodontal disease, or gum disease and is characterized by the movement of the gum line down the root of a tooth. Recession can range from to one tooth or many and symptoms may vary from none to extreme root sensitivity, inflammation of the tissues, root exposure, cavities, and aesthetic concerns. It is important to have gum recession repaired because gum tissue is the primary barrier to bacteria. Without adequate gum tissue bacteria can cause gum disease, bone and gum deterioration, decay, and tooth loss.
Patients who feel that their teeth are too large or who are embarrassed by the amount of tooth showing can benefit from gum grafting procedures. Gum disease can cause a significant loss of supporting structures, gum grafting can be used to return the gum line to a more attractive level. This procedure will reduce the amount of tooth that shows and improve the overall health of the teeth and gums.
If a patient is experiencing gum recession resulting from gum disease, it can be repaired through a grafting procedure.
There are three types of gum grafting surgery: Connective tissue, free gingival, and pedicle. The type your doctor uses will depend on the patient’s unique situation, the degree of gum disease that they have experienced, or the specific needs of the patient.
Connective Tissue Grafts are the most common form of gum grafts. This form is used to treat root exposure around one or more teeth. During the procedure, the doctor will cut a flap of skin from the roof of patients mouth and remove tissue from under the flap. The flap is then stitched back down. The excised tissue will then be stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. In time, the attached tissue will grow together with the existing gum tissue, thus forming a healthier gum line around the tooth.
The free gingival graft procedure is very similar to a connective tissue graft except that instead of cutting a flap to remove tissue underneath, a small amount of tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth. This tissue is then placed and attached directly to the gum area being treated. Doctors prefer this method for patients that have naturally thin gums.
The pedicle graft method does not take graft tissue from the roof of the mouth. Instead, the gum tissue is grafted from existing tissue around the tooth needing repair. With this method, the flap, called a pedicle, is partially cut away so that one edge remains attached. The flap is then pulled over to cover the exposed root and sutured in place. The pedicle graft method is preferred for patients who have plenty of gum tissue near the tooth needing repair.
Along with natural grafts from the patient, some doctors prefer to use graft material from a tissue bank or synthetic material.
After the procedure patients should follow all instructions your doctor gives you for post-operative care. Do not floss or brush the gum line that was treated until the area has healed and you are instructed to do so. A special mouthwash may be prescribed that will help control plaque and bacteria during this time.
For about a week after the gum grafting procedure, the patients diet will be limited to soft foods such as eggs, pasta, Jell-O, and yogurt. Pain tolerance can vary from patient to patient and depends on many variables, including the type of gum graft performed. The doctor will likely recommend an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication or, in rare cases, a prescription pain medication. Many patients can return to work within a day or two.