Good oral hygiene is essential to healthy gums. When gum problems arise, such as gum recession, it can affect your oral health and your appearance. Receding gums result in the gum tissue wearing away and leaving your tooth roots exposed and vulnerable to bone loss and root decay. With recession, patients often experience tooth sensitivity from temperature extremes when eating or drinking hot and cold items. Additionally, an esthetic difference between your roots and the tooth enamel may be noticed once recession has occurred. Left untreated, gum recession can lead to tooth loss!
Gum recession often develops slowly over time, so you may not even be aware it is happening. This is why seeing a dentist regularly can help spot the signs and symptoms during your annual exam and address whether or not you have gum recession.
Gum Graft to the Rescue
In order to treat this problem, you may need a gum tissue graft, also called a gingival graft. This procedure can improve your smile’s appearance and protect the exposed tooth by stemming the effects of receding gums. This quick and simple treatment allows our periodontist to take healthy gum tissue from your palate (roof of your mouth) or nearby healthy gum tissue and then affix it to the areas of worn away gum tissue, building it up and correcting receding gums.
Types of Gum Grafts
– Traditional Gum Grafts: A small section of tissue is harvested from your palate and transplanted in the area of the gum tissue defect.
– Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique: Pinhole surgery is a scalpel-free and suture-free way to correct gum recession by repositioning your existing gum tissue.
Post Gum Graft
To ensure your comfort, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area where the procedure will be done. You’ll want to stick to avoid chewing in the grafted area, avoid using straws or drinking from bottles, choose healthy beverages and soft foods for the recovery period while the graft heals.
Ultimately, a gum graft can help strengthen gums protecting a tooth, diminish gum recession from teeth, lessen sensitivity by covering exposed tooth roots, and improve your smile’s appearance.
To protect your gum tissue, brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush (you really don’t need to aggressively scrub). You do want to keep bacterial plaque from collecting on the enamel and around the gum line, but a daily oral hygiene routine, coupled with routine dental cleanings, can easily take care of that without damaging gum tissue.
If you have any questions about gum recession or suspect you have gum disease, our periodontal team is here to help! Just give us a call and we are happy to schedule your appointment with our skilled periodontists. We are here to help you maintain your healthy, beautiful smile!