Gum grafting is also referred to as periodontal plastic surgery or gingival graft. It is a dental surgery procedure that is conducted to cover exposed tooth roots using grafted oral tissue. Tooth root exposure results from gingival recession; a periodontal disease aftermath. Other causes include; trauma and aggressive brushing.
Common Gum Grafting Types
Free Gingival Graft: this is a procedure for thickening gum tissue. A tissue layer is extracted from the palate and used to reconstruct an area that is affected by gum recession.
Subepithelial Connective Tissue Graft: this is a procedure for covering exposed roots. A substantial amount of tissue is removed from the outer palate layer and used to reconstruct a site damaged by gum recession.
Acellular Dermal Matrix Allograft: unlike the above procedures, this procedure utilizes graft tissue that is sourced from medically processed human donated tissue. It is less painful since the patient’s palate is not used as a tissue donor site.
Reasons for Gum Grafting
To reduce sensitivity: when tooth roots are exposed, drinking or eating cold and hot foods causes extreme teeth sensitivity. Gum grafting is used to cover the exposed roots thus reducing sensitivity discomfort and restoring good gum health.
To improve appearance: periodontal infections cause gum inflammation and recession. Root exposure and gum recession make teeth appear longer resulting to toothy smiles. Gum grafting is used to reduce exposed tooth by making them seem shorter, symmetrical and more aesthetically appealing.
To improve gum health: periodontal infections destroy gum tissue rapidly. Therefore, if not treated on time, they cause loss of gum tissue. In such a case, gum grafting is used to alleviate bone and tissue loss.
What Gum Grafting Treatment Entails
After your Lake Elsinore dentist establishes that your need gum grafting, there are a few treatments that the dentist may recommend before carrying out the actual procedure. For starters, the teeth must be cleaned thoroughly to remove bacteria and tartar. Gum grafting must be done under local anaesthesia and the time required depends on whether tissue harvesting will be required or not.
Small incisions are made at the site being reconstructed in order to create a small pocket that will hold the graft. A split thickness incision is then made and a graft tissue is inserted in the space between the two tissue sections. Note that, the graft tissue is always larger than the recession area. Stitching is required to stabilize the graft and prevent shifting. Surgical material may be used to protect the area during the first week but the wound heals within six weeks.
Contact Dr. Kal Eissa, DDS for further clarification about gum grafting.