So much emphasis is placed on the teeth when it comes to talking about oral health. Many people, unfortunately, neglect their gums. Without proper care, the gums can begin to recede, which impacts both your smile and your oral health. If you are dealing with gum recession, it can be scary. While your gums cannot grow back, gum recession is treatable. At Victor Nitu DDS, we can help to reverse the effects of gum recession with a gum graft.
Is Gum Recession a Common Issue?
Gum disease is a fairly common problem, affecting up to 12% of adults. What makes it so problematic is that it occurs so slowly, and it generally does not cause any pain. Most people with gum recession do not notice anything is wrong until it has become severe. In cases of severe gum recession, a gum graft is often recommended.
Why Do Gums Recede?
One of the biggest culprits of gum recession is gum disease. This is a symptom of the disease that typically occurs as the disease advances. Other causes of gum disease include brushing your teeth too hard, some types of medications, certain medical conditions, smoking and tobacco use, bruxism, genetics, and aging.
What is Involved with a Gum Graft?
Gum graft requires surgery. It is a procedure that involves transplanting tissue over the affected teeth. The tissue is sutured into place. Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, may also be used to help expedite the healing process and reduce your risk for complications. The goal is to restore a natural, healthy, balanced gum line, giving you back your smile and a healthy mouth.
Where Does the Tissue Come From?
In many cases, the tissue used for a gum graft comes from your own body. The tissue is generally harvested from your palate or the roof of your mouth. Using your tissue has many significant benefits. The biggest drawback, however, is that you do have an additional surgical site to care for during your recovery.
Tissue for a gum graft can also be from a donor. This tissue is taken from a tissue bank. All donor tissue is screened before use to ensure your safety during the procedure. The biggest advantage of this type of grafting is that you do not have extra surgical wounds to tend to as you heal.
What Types of Gum Grafts are There?
The most common types of grafts used for gum grafting are connective tissue and free gingival. Connective tissue grafts use the tissue taken out from under a small flap created in the roof of the mouth. A free gingival graft uses the tissue taken directly from the palate. This tissue is harder than the connective tissue found underneath.
Another type of graft is called a pedicle graft. This involves making incisions in the gums and rearranging the tissue to create a more natural gum line. A newer procedure called pinhole gum surgery involves the use of a small tool that creates a tiny hole in your gums. Small tools are used to rearrange your tissues through that hole. Collagen strips are then placed under the gums to help provide stability. This is a much less invasive procedure than traditional grafting techniques.
Does a Gum Graft Permanently Solve the Problem?
A gum graft does help to give you back a healthy, beautiful gum line. However, you have to take good care of your mouth to maintain the results. Without proper oral care, you can suffer new gum recession, completely undoing the effects of your procedure.
If you are dealing with gum recession, a gum graft can give you back your smile and help you to protect your oral health. For more information, contact Victor Nitu DDS at (480) 536-8228 today.