Gum Grafting

What comes to mind when you think of a healthy mouth and beautiful smile? Most people think the only thing that matters is the condition of the teeth. The gums, however, are just as important, playing vital roles in both the health of your mouth and its aesthetics. Healthy gums sit snugly against your teeth, providing them with a protective barrier, sealing out oral bacteria. When your gums recede, your smile is diminished and your oral health can quickly deteriorate. At Edelweiss Dental Implant Center, we can restore the health of your gums with gum grafting.

What Causes Gums to Recede?

There are several different causes of gum recession:

  • Gum Disease
  • Gum disease is the most common cause of gum recession. Bacteria and plaque irritate the gum tissue, causing irritation and inflammation. The gums swell, pulling away from the teeth. When this happens, pockets form. Bacteria fall into the pockets irritating the gums from the inside. The tissue inside the pockets begins to swell, causing more of the gums to pull away. Eventually, the inflamed tissue begins to die, and your gum line recedes.

  • Aggressive Brushing
  • Brushing too hard can wear away at the tissue.

  • Bruxism
  • Grinding and clenching your teeth can cause your gums to recede.

  • Tobacco Products
  • These products contain numerous harmful chemicals that can enter your bloodstream and slow the flow of blood (and nutrients), and limit the oxygen.

  • Age
  • Simply getting older can lead to gum recession.

What is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that is performed to restore the health and appearance of your gum line. With this type of procedure, soft tissue is taken from elsewhere in the body (in the case of gum grafting, the tissue is frequently taken from elsewhere in your mouth) and sutured over the areas of recession. While using your tissue is preferable, there are some instances in which we may also use tissue from a donor or use regenerative materials.

Your surgical procedure begins with a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be used if you are anxious. Incisions are made at the donor site, and tissue removed. It is then sutured into place over the areas of recession. As you heal, your existing gum tissue fuses with the donor tissue, and they reform a tight seal around your teeth. Periodontal Maintenance is a teeth cleaning, however, it is performed on patients who have gum disease.

Different Types of Gum Grafting

There are three main types of gum grafts:

  • Connective Tissue Grafts
  • This type of graft uses tissue from the roof of your mouth. More specifically, the tissue is taken from under a flap created in the palate. It is often used when coverage for exposed roots is needed.

  • Free Gingival Grafts
  • A free gingival graft also uses tissue from the roof of your mouth, but the tissue is taken directly from the palate (which creates a larger, open wound). This type of graft is used when harder, keratinized tissue is needed.

  • Pedicle Graft
  • This type of graft makes use of surrounding gum tissue. Incisions are made in the gums, and the tissue rearranged. It allows the tissue to maintain blood flow, and begin the healing process quicker.

Laser gum surgery allows treatment of more advanced stages of gum disease without the invasiveness associated with the scalpel. By setting the laser to different wavelengths, we can accomplish different tasks.

The Benefits of Gum Grafting

There are three main types of gum grafts:

  • Improved oral health
  • Elimination of tooth sensitivity
  • Restored smile and confidence

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