What You Need to Know About a Gum Graft
If you suffer from gum disease, it’s vital for your dental health to get your symptoms under control as quickly as possible. Untreated gum disease can cause a host of dental woes, including gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth wears away. This happens gradually over an extended period.
Once your gums recede, it is easier for bacteria to accumulate in the area around your teeth and gums. One effective treatment option for gum recession is a gum tissue graft. During a gum tissue graft, your dentist removes tissue from another portion of your mouth and attaches it near the gums suffering from recession. Keep reading to learn important information about the gum tissue graft procedure.
Different Types of Grafts are Available
A gum graft isn’t a one-size-fits-all procedure. There are multiple ways that your dentist can complete the procedure and numerous ways to obtain the tissue used for the graft.
A connective-tissue graft is one of the most common options. Your dentist will cut an incision in the roof of your mouth produce a flap and access the tissue that under the flap. After extracting the necessary amount of tissue for your graft, your dentist closes the incision in the roof of your mouth. They then stitch the tissue to your gums as needed.
A free gingival graft is similar to a connective-tissue graft, but it utilizes tissue directly from the roof of your mouth; the dentist does not cut a flap. Your dentist may recommend this alternative if your gums require an excessive amount of tissue for a successful graft.
You may suffer from gum recession in a small portion of your mouth and have large amounts of healthy gum tissue around other teeth. A pedicle graft works well for patients who have large amounts of gum tissue around other areas of the mouth. Your dentist will remove some of the healthy gum tissue and attach is to the areas with receding gum tissue.
Another option is to use gum tissue from a tissue bank. Some dentists recommend the use of a tissue bank when their patients lack enough healthy tissue to complete the graft. You can also take medications that stimulate the growth of tissue if you strongly prefer to utilize your own gum tissue.
Lifestyle Changes are Necessary to Maintain Better Dental Health
After your gum graft, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to improve your overall dental health. Otherwise, your gums may continue to recede, negating the benefits of the graft.
If you smoke or use tobacco products, it’s vital to start and complete a smoking cessation plan as soon as possible. When you use tobacco products, this encourages the formation of a sticky plaque that causes a host of dental issues, including gum recession.
In general, the use of tobacco products makes it more difficult for your body to properly heal itself. The chemicals found in most tobacco products impair your body’s blood flow, causing the healing process to take longer than it otherwise would.
You should also adhere to a strict dental care plan. Make sure that you see your dentist at least twice a year or as recommended by your dentist. It’s important to brush and floss the teeth twice a day. Check that you’re using a proper brushing technique.
Over-vigorous brushing can actually erode your gum tissue and cause your gums to recede. If you’re not sure about the proper amount of pressure to use when brushing, talk to your dentist for a quick brushing primer.
Have concerns about the health of your gums? Contact Accent Dental today to make an appointment.