The gums or soft tissue serve as the base of the teeth, and all of the tooth roots are anchored deeply into these soft tissues. However, when an infection takes place within the gums, it can cause inflammation and degeneration, resulting to gum recession.
As gums recede, the roots of teeth become exposed. This can lead to sensitivity, esthetic issues, and in the long run, tooth loss. When this happens, our dentists will likely recommend soft tissue grafting to restore your gums.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss worldwide. It does not always show symptoms, and when it does, it may indicate that the infection has already spread extensively. One of the signs of gum disease is gum recession which is caused by the body’s immune response to infection.
Soft tissue grafting is the standard treatment for gum recession. It promotes gum regeneration through the manual addition of tissue. The tissues can be taken from either your own palate or from a tissue bank. Depending on your actual condition, the decision on which tissue to use will be determined by our dentists.
If you have advanced gum disease and your tooth roots are exposed, a gum graft is the best way to reverse the effects of the disease. However, our dentists may discuss alternative treatment options in the event that you are not eligible for soft tissue grafting.
When you get a soft tissue graft, you will gain the following benefits:
Based on your dental condition, you may undergo any of the following grafting methods.
A free gingival graft makes use of the tissues at the roof of your mouth (palate). The tissue is taken directly from the palate and sewn to the diseased gum area. Free gingival grafts are best for individuals who have thin gum mass and need extensive regrowth.
Pedicle grafting is done for patients who still have a lot of gum tissue left around the affected area. Instead of taking palate tissue, the procedure makes use of surrounding gum tissue. A pedicle is made from the nearby gum tissue by cutting out a flap with one edge remaining intact. The flap is then turned over to cover the affected area and sewn into place.
The subepithelial connective tissue is used to restore deeply receded gums and fix tooth root exposure. The harvesting procedure requires removal of tissue from under the flap of the palate and not just on the surface. Once the connective tissue is extracted, the flap on the palate is sewn back into place. The connective tissue is then attached to the affected gum area.
After gum grafting, you can resume regular daily activities as long as you adhere to the following:
At Dental Arts of South Jersey, our highly trained dentists are experienced in performing gum grafts with high rates of success. To get a consultation with our dentists, please call us at (856) 942-1738 or place an appointment with us using this web form.
Before gum grafting can be done, certain tests and preparations need to be completed. Our dentists will give you recommendations on what steps to take as well as possible alternatives for your dental condition. If a gum graft is the best treatment of choice, our dentists will provide instructions and explain the treatment process.
Gum grafting isn’t done just for the esthetic benefit, but most importantly for the health of your gums. Fighting gum disease will help preserve your teeth and eliminate the need for tooth replacements in the future.