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Understanding How Gum Grafting Works

Posted by Lagos Periodontics & Dental Implants Nov 30, 2023

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Are you experiencing gum recession, or have you been told that your gums are thinning? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many people face the challenge of receding gums, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss if left untreated. There is a solution: gum grafting. Gum grafting is a highly effective dental procedure that can address a range of gum issues and improve the health and appearance of your smile.

Reasons for Needing a Gum Graft

Healthy gums are crucial for maintaining overall oral health. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why someone might need a gum graft. 

  • One common reason is gum recession, which occurs when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing the roots. This can be caused by aggressive brushing, poor oral hygiene habits, or even genetics.
  • Another reason for needing a gum graft is due to periodontal disease. If left untreated, this bacterial infection can destroy the supporting structures of your teeth and lead to gum recession. In some cases, trauma or injury to the mouth can also result in gum recession and necessitate a graft.
  • Not only does gum recession affect the appearance of your smile, but it can also have serious consequences on your dental health. Exposed tooth roots are more susceptible to decay and sensitivity, making eating and drinking uncomfortable.

By addressing these issues early on through a gum graft procedure, you can protect your teeth from further damage while improving both aesthetics and functionality.

The Procedure: What to Expect

Your periodontist will start by examining your gums and determining the best approach for your specific situation. They will discuss the different types of gum grafts available and which one is most suitable for you. Once a decision has been made, the actual procedure will be scheduled. On the day of the surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area and ensure your comfort throughout.

During the procedure itself, your periodontist will carefully remove a small section of tissue from either your palate or another donor source and surgically attach it to areas where gum recession has occurred. This new tissue acts as a foundation for healthy gum growth and helps restore proper oral health.

Afterward, you may experience some swelling and discomfort in both the donor site and recipient area. Your periodontist will provide detailed instructions on how to care for yourself post-surgery, including pain management techniques and dietary restrictions.

Benefits of Gum Grafting

Gum grafting is a dental procedure that can offer several benefits to those struggling with gum recession or other gum-related issues. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Improved Oral Health: Gum grafting helps prevent further gum recession, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss. By restoring the gumline, this procedure provides added protection for your teeth and roots.
  2. Enhanced Aesthetic Appearance: Receding gums can make your smile appear uneven or unhealthy. With a gum graft, you can achieve a more balanced and natural-looking smile, boosting your self-confidence.
  3. Increased Comfort: Exposed tooth roots due to receding gums often result in discomfort while eating or drinking hot or cold substances. After a gum graft, these sensitive areas will be covered by healthy tissue, reducing any pain or sensitivity.
  4. Long-Term Cost Savings: Addressing gum recession early on through a grafting procedure can help prevent more extensive and expensive treatments down the line, such as dental implants or root canal therapy.
  5. Protection Against Decay: Healthy gums provide an effective barrier against bacteria and plaque buildup around the base of your teeth. By restoring lost tissue with a graft, you decrease the risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease.

Remember that every individual's situation is unique when it comes to oral health concerns like receding gums. It's crucial to consult with your periodontist to determine if gum grafting is suitable for you and discuss any potential risks associated with the procedure.

At LAGOS Periodontics & Dental Implants, Rodrigo A. Lagos, DDS, MS, practices a full scope of periodontics with expertise in preventive periodontics, cosmetic periodontal surgery, gum grafting, and dental implants. To schedule an appointment, call us at 760-568-3421 or visit our practice at 36945 Cook St., Suite 101, Palm Desert, CA 92260. 

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