Gum grafts are a periodontal procedure in which tissue is grafted to the gums to repair gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the underlying root. This exposure can lead to root sensitivity and cavities.
Gum grafts can reduce root sensitivity and the risk of cavities. The procedure is sometimes undertaken on an elective basis to improve a patient’s smile.
Are Gum Grafts Right for Me?
Many patients are not aware that they have recessed gums because the process is gradual. They might notice increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods first. Left untreated, these recessed gums increase the likelihood of decay and inflammation that could eventually result in the need for more invasive dental treatments.
During the Procedure
A graft is performed by transplanting tissue from another source to the affected area. The tissue source could be either the roof of the mouth or a human cadaver tissue bank. The most common method of treatment requires the periodontist to cut a flap of skin from the top of the mouth to reach the connective tissue underneath. This connective tissue is excised to provide the tissue for the graft.
Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics following the procedure to avoid infection as well as pain medication. They will also likely recommend a soft food diet for two weeks following the treatment. You should also avoid brushing or flossing in the area of the graft until healing is complete.