What is a Gum Graft?
A gum graft is a minor surgical procedure that is used to correct receding gums. In a gum graft, some tissue is taken from one part of your mouth and moved to cover a place where you do not have enough tissue.
What Causes Receding Gums?
There are many potential causes of receding gums. Some of them are out of your control, like genetic factors. Some of them are partly under your control, like oral hygiene that can help control gum disease. Others are fully under your control, like tobacco use and oral piercings.
How Can a Gum Graft Help Me?
There are many goals of a gum graft. A gum graft is designed to stop the spread of receding gums. It is also intended to protect your teeth and jawbone, which can be damaged when the gums expose them. A gum graft also improves the cosmetics of your smile by re-establishing an attractive, healthy gum appearance.
Can a Gum Graft Prevent Tooth Loss?
Under the right circumstances, yes. A gum graft can be used to cover and protect the root and stop the spread of receding gums. Sometimes this will save a threatened tooth.
Am I a Candidate for a Gum Graft?
If you have significant gum recession, are in good general health, and have good oral health, you might be a candidate for a gum graft. We also ask that you commit yourself to ensure your gums stay healthy in the future.
What are the Different Types of Gum Grafts?
There are three commonly used types of gum grafts:
- Pedicle gum grafts use donor material that is next to the site of the gum recession. A flap of gum tissue is cut partly away, then moved over to cover the area of gum recession.
- A connective tissue graft uses tissue from a donor site in the mouth that is taken from under the skin.
- A free gingival graft uses tissue from a donor site that includes the skin.
Is a Gum Graft Painful?
Most patients report that a gum graft is not as painful as they expected, but there is some discomfort associated with this minor surgical procedure. During the procedure, we will use anesthesia to limit your discomfort.
What is Recovery From a Gum Graft Like?
Recovery from a gum graft procedure does not require time off from work. You can go home after the procedure, rest, and go back to work or play the next day. You may have bleeding and may experience discomfort during the first day. You will have to eat soft food for a couple of weeks. Complete recovery takes 6-8 weeks.