Gum Graft: Purpose and Procedure - Dr. Colin Richman

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Gum Graft: Purpose and Procedure

August 27, 2014

A gum graft is a dental procedure where an exposed tooth or dental root is covered for aesthetic reasons, to guard against discomfort due to sensitivity, or to prevent the onset of gingivitis or periodontitis in the affected area.

A receding gum line can result in accelerated gingivitis or dental decay. A gum graft allows the periodontist to take tissue from the roof of the mouth and graft it on the gum line where needed. In the case where several teeth are involved, a synthetic material may be used as a substitute for your natural tissue.

When only one tooth is involved, the periodontist will take tissue from the upper palate and graft it in place to cover the exposed part of the tooth normally covered by gum tissue. An incision is made at the gum line, the tissue is placed, and a suture might be added to hold the new tissue in place. When multiple teeth need treatment, an “allograft” material is generally used. This is a highly processed material derived from human or animal sources, and eliminates the second surgical site on the palate.

During the healing process, a covering is placed over the treated area to protect it. Based on the extent of the procedure, the time for healing can vary. But the newly grafted tissue should appear near normal in four to six weeks.

Although this procedure is not commonly done for all cases of gum recession, if your periodontist has determined that your gum recession could lead to tooth loss, a recommendation will be made to move forward. Failure to act upon this condition could lead to further bone loss with the potential for losing teeth.

A gum graft allows the periodontist to take tissue from the roof of the mouth and graft it on the gum line where needed.

A gum graft is also done for aesthetic purposes. When there is significant gum erosion near the smile line, a gum graft can be performed that will eliminate the exposed areas.

Where a patient has experienced recession due to brushing with a hard bristle tooth brush or natural recession due to aging, a gum graft can be done in an effort to prevent further damage. In addition to halting further recession, the gum graft will protect the patient from the onset of gingivitis or perio disease in the treated area.

For a patient suffering the zinging sensation from sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, the gum graft can provide relief.

A consultation with our Roswell periodontists to discuss gum grafts will allow you to make an educated decision as to whether or not this procedure will benefit you.

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