A gum graft is a type of dental surgery performed to correct the effects of gum recession. It is a quick and relatively simple surgery in which a periodontist removes healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and uses it to build the gum back up where it has receded.
Gum recession occurs when gum tissue wears away, exposing more of the tooth at the root. This may cause increased sensitivity, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. Because gum recession tends to happen slowly, many people do not realize it is happening to them. If left untreated, gum recession could eventually lead to tooth loss.
Some people choose to have a gum graft for cosmetic reasons, such as to have a better smile; while for others, a gum graft is necessary to protect the exposed tooth from damage and repair any damage already done.
Three Types of Gum Grafts
Currently available on the market are three types of gum grafts that work to make your mouth healthier, and they are:
1.Free gingival grafts: With this procedure, the gum tissue is added on in order to enlarge the gums. This is best for patients left in gums to start.
2.Connective tissue grafts: This method is used to treat receding gums by removing a flap of skin from the pallet of your mouth, then connective tissue under the flap is removed and stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the root of a tooth. This flap is then later stitched back on after the connective tissue has been taken away.
3.Pedicle grafts: in this kind of graph, no tissue is taken from the palate, instead, the tissue is taken from the surrounding tissue near the exposed tooth root. It is then pulled over to cover the exposed root and sewn into place.
Tips for Post-Surgery Care
For the first two weeks after your procedure, it is recommended that you only take in a soft food diet. Taking in your food colder rather than hot is also a great way to keep anything wrong from happening post-surgery. It is also important to remember that it takes about a week or two for your mouth to fully heal, but you can resume your everyday activities the next day following your surgery. One final piece of advice that many people may overlook is that gum graft surgery is a great way to provide an effective solution to root exposure, but it is no excuse to forget about having an impeccable oral health routine.
When to seek help
- Consult a dentist if prolonged bleeding occurs.
- People should call their dentist as soon as possible if they notice any symptoms that suggest the gums have become infected after surgery.
Symptoms of infection include:
- bleeding that continues for over 20 minutes, despite applying pressure
- unexpected pain, swelling, and bruising
- fever and pus