It's not uncommon for your gums to recede as you age, exposing the roots of your teeth, which can cause sensitivity and lead to gum disease. Gum grafting is a procedure that helps prevent this by replacing tissue in the mouth with donor tissue.
What Does Gum Grafting Treat?
Gum grafting is a procedure used to treat gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue recedes from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth's root. If left untreated, this can lead to the loss of your natural tooth structure and eventual tooth loss.
A gum graft replaces lost gum tissue, which helps prevent further recession and keeps your teeth anchored in place. It can also improve the appearance of your gums by restoring fullness and color around your teeth.
Gum grafting is performed by a dentist or periodontist, who will remove some healthy tissue from another area of your mouth and then place it over the exposed root of your tooth to help restore its shape.
Gum grafts can be performed either with or without anesthesia and are often used to treat periodontal disease. They may also reduce sensitivity in your mouth and improve your smile.
How Do I Know If I Need Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting, also called gum augmentation or gum reconstruction, is an advanced dental procedure used to treat gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the tooth, exposing the root surface. This can cause sensitive teeth and sometimes even tooth loss.
Gum recession can be caused by genetics, aging, or poor oral health habits like grinding your teeth at night, also known as bruxism.
Advantages of Gum Grafting
Gum grafting helps prevent further recession by stopping root exposure.
Gum grafting can restore lost gum tissue in many areas of your mouth:
- Alveolar ridge (where your teeth meet your gums)
- The floor of the mouth (underside of your jaw)
- Lateral incisors (the front teeth just beside your two front teeth)
Two Common Types of Gum Grafts
There are two main types of gum grafts: a connective tissue graft and a pedicle graft.
A connective tissue graft involves using healthy tissue from another mouth area to repair the damaged area. This type of gum graft is most commonly used when a large amount of tissue needs to be replaced.
A pedicle graft involves taking a small piece of healthy gum tissue from another area and attaching it to the damaged area. In this case, the doctor will excise a piece of healthy tissue from under your lip or cheek, attach it to your gums, then suture it into place. This is typically done when there isn’t enough healthy tissue in one area of your mouth for a full-thickness graft.
Your dentist or periodontist can recommend the type of graft that would work best for you.
What Can Gum Grafting Achieve?
Gum grafting can help prevent gum decay by reattaching the healthy tissue to the base of a tooth. This is important because when the gum tissue recedes away from teeth, bacteria can quickly get into the gums and cause decay. Gum grafting also repairs gaps between teeth where food particles get stuck and basically become plaque-producing factories.
Gum grafts can restore an aesthetically pleasing smile by hiding discolored teeth, filling in uneven surfaces, and softening sharp edges that make our mouths look old before their time.
Additionally, a gum graft may be recommended to reduce discomfort during eating or drinking if you are experiencing sensitivity due to exposed root tips or other gum tissue irregularities.
Gum Grafting in Nassau County, NY
If you'd like to learn more about gum grafting or are ready to get started, Barkoff Dental can help. We offer comprehensive services to meet your oral healthcare needs.