What is Gum Graft Surgery?
Brought on by periodontal (gum) disease or other factors like aging, gum recession takes place when the gums separate from the root of the tooth, which leaves the area exposed. While gum recession does have an effect on your smile, it also can have a devastating effect on one's oral health. When the teeth are left unsupported by the gums and jawbone, they can become loose, shift, or even fall out over time. To address gum recession and restore the support structures of your teeth, Made Ya Smile in Pearland, TX performs advanced techniques to produce the best outcome. One of these techniques is a gum graft, which is performed by one of our skilled periodontists. Gum grafting involves relocating gum tissue to the affected area by either using your own gum tissue or another healthy donor. To explore more about the numerous options we are proud to provide for patients experiencing gum recession, contact our Pearland, TX office.
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Do I Need Gum Graft Surgery?
Although gum recession is most commonly caused by periodontal disease, it can occur as a result of other habits or conditions. Bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding), malocclusion, oral piercings, and even brushing too aggressively can all lead to gum recession. Genetics could also be a factor. Some signs that your gumline has begun to recede are tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or discomfort while brushing and flossing. Patients with receding gums may notice discoloration around the gumline. To determine if you are showing indications of gum loss, our skilled periodontist will perform a thorough evaluation of your mouth and make the appropriate diagnosis. We will then work with you to determine if you're a good candidate for a gum grafting procedure.
How is Gum Graft Surgery Performed?
The purpose of gum grafting surgery is to rebuild the affected areas with gum tissue either taken from your own mouth or another safe, biocompatible source. This treatment also serves to cover the tooth roots that have become exposed as a result of gum loss. First, we will numb your gums and administer any other necessary sedation (such as nitrous oxide). If you receive oral-conscious sedation, this should take an hour before your appointment. Once your gums are fully numb, your samples of gum tissue will be sutured where the recession took place. There are multiple procedure techniques that could be selected depending on your unique situation, such as:
- Connective tissue graft: This is the most frequently performed type of graft and involves taking healthy tissues from the hard palate, directly underneath the top tissue layer, to replenish the gumline.
- Free gingival gum grafts: This type of graft takes tissue directly from the surface of the hard palate to address gum loss.
- Pedicle grafts: A pedicle gum graft creates a flap, which is stretched over the affected tooth to conceal the exposed tooth root. This is a good option when a tooth affected by gum recession is surrounded by teeth with a healthy amount of gum support.
The gum graft technique employed for your procedure will be based on your needs and the condition of your gums. If gum recession is present in multiple locations, multiple appointments may need to be scheduled to fully treat the issue and restore the look and function of your smile.
How Long is the Recovery After Gum Surgery?
Following your gum graft treatment, you should reduce physical activity for the first few days afterward. We advise patients to wait until the numbness of their mouth has completely disappeared before attempting to eat. If you feel are soreness or discomfort following your procedure, this can be addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Cold compresses can also be used to reduce facial swelling. It will take time before your newly instated gum tissues bond with your teeth and native gumline. As you recover, you should carefully follow the instructions provided to you by our periodontist for post-op care. We will provide you with tips to help make brushing and flossing on and around your new gumline easier. You may be prescribed or director to a medicated mouthwash to prevent bacteria from building up in the treated areas. You should attend any and all follow-up appointments as scheduled at our Pearland, TX practice so we can monitor your progress.
Does Insurance Cover Gum Surgery?
Some insurance plans may cover the costs of your gum grafting procedure. To determine your benefits, our financial team will get in touch with your carrier and learn about your coverage. Made Ya Smile in Pearland, TX accepts most major PPO insurance plans as well as a variety of payment methods. To help make your treatment more affordable, we'd be happy to give you information about medical financing through CareCredit® or our own in-house program.
Treatment for Gum Recession
Even if your gumline is receding as a result of periodontal disease or another factor, you still have options to restore the look and health of your smile. Made Ya Smile in Pearland, TX offers advanced procedures and techniques, such as gum grafting, to reinstate the support system of your teeth. If you've observed any signs or symptoms of gum recession and need further care, contact our premier office and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced periodontists today.