During the gum graft procedure, either synthetic tissue or healthy tissue from another area of your mouth is used to repair receding gums. Typically, gum graft surgery is the most serious and last resort to repair receding gums. But gum grafting is a simple and safe procedure, not something to worry about when you rely on the experienced hands of your family dentist.
If you do need gum grafting, a dental practice such as CitiDental, is the best place to go. It features many specializations to ensure you’re taken good care of as you undergo the gum graft. But it’s always best to understand gum graft surgery entails, what other options are available and why you may need it.
Gum graft surgery is a proven technique used to treat serious gum disease. Periodontitis starts with gingivitis, a less intense form of gum disease that causes inflamed gums that usually bleed easily. But you shouldn’t panic if you’re diagnosed with gingivitis. When you see your Queens dentist on a regular basis, you learn about the many different factors that cause it. Gingivitis normally is treatable with improved daily dental hygiene habits and routine bi-annual cleanings from your family dentist.
Receding gums and inflammation sometimes is caused by brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles. Periodontitis, in its early stages, also may be caused by a buildup of bacteria at the gum line. But gum disease is a common occurrence.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports: “In its more serious form called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.” A recent CDC report provides the following data related to the prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:
You may not realize the importance of gentle, thorough brushing thoroughly in the areas where your teeth meet your gums. When bacteria build up enough in that space where your gums and teeth meet, you’re at greater risk of developing severe periodontitis. At that point, you may require gum grafting.
Watch for changes in your oral health that could signal the beginning of gingivitis. Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, loose teeth, bleeding gums, pain while chewing, or persistent bad breath may be cause for concern that you should bring up at your next dental visit. The CDC refers to the most common risk factors that may cause you to the need a gum graft from gum disease, including:
Adjust your daily dental hygiene routine as recommended by your dentist. You may need additional treatment, such as deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar under and around your gums. Antibiotics help ward off infection that may be present. Gum graft surgery is recommended only if all these techniques aren’t successful or if the gum recession is too severe to respond to early intervention.
Your dentist has access to several gum graft techniques. While a local anesthetic usually is sufficient to avoid pain during the procedure, CitiDental offers state-of-the-art sedation dentistry, especially if you’re overly anxious about the treatment or have very sensitive gums.
Arrive at the scheduled time for gum graft surgery. You don’t require any special preparations beforehand. Once you’re anesthetized, skin is taken from somewhere in your mouth and grafted onto your gums where it’s needed. This prevents any more deterioration.
You may feel some pain after the surgery; your doctor can prescribe pain medication for a few days and let you know which over-the-counter pain relief medicine is safe to take. You should change your diet for a short time so that it’s gentler on your gums. You’ll also be asked to use a special mouthwash while you heal. Proper care is important for successful gum graft recovery, and to ensure that periodontitis doesn’t return.
Complications are rare, but your dental team keeps in close contact and does follow-up visits to make sure you’re healing properly. Notify them if you experience any abnormalities. Following your gum graft, make a few lifestyle changes to assure your gum health.