Gums are important for several reasons, but mainly because they provide sockets for teeth and protect the mouth’s underlying bone and nerves. However, there are times when issues can arise in that area to cause discomfort. One such instance is when there is a recession of the natural gum line. Receding gums can lead to increased sensitivity and tooth loss if not addressed promptly.
What causes the gum tissue to recede?
Gum recession is a common issue. It exposes the root of a tooth to the elements due to a pulling away of the gum tissue. Several factors can lead to gum recession.
If you have thin gums, you may be at greater risk for gum recession. You may also notice receding gums if you wear braces, brush aggressively, do not practice proper oral hygiene, or have suffered from gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gum recession can be treated using gum grafting, performed by a periodontist.
What is gum grafting?
Gum grafting is a procedure that repairs the gum line by taking healthy tissue from elsewhere in the mouth to cover the damaged section. A gum graft can be done through a number of methods that are dependent on the specific needs of the person affected. Figuring out which procedure is right for a patient requires a thorough conversation with the periodontist and comes down to the severity of the damage to the gum line.
The methods for restoring receding gums include connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts. For a connective tissue graft, skin at the roof of the mouth is cut, and tissue underneath is removed. This tissue is then used to cover the exposed gum line, and the flap in the roof of the mouth is reattached. Similar to the connective tissue graft, the free gingival graft will involve cutting some tissue from the roof of the mouth. The only difference is the periodontist won’t cut open a flap to access the tissue. They will instead take it from the top of the palate. The pedicle graft uses tissue taken from the gum area closest to the affected section, which allows the periodontist to pull the cut tissue over the damaged area.
What does the process entail?
Gum grafting is a relatively simple process.
Before the procedure, your periodontist will assess the gums to determine the appropriate treatment. During the process, the area is numbed by injecting an anesthetic agent to ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible. The periodontist will then be able to remove and transplant the necessary amount of tissue to address the problem. Finally, the periodontist will suture the area from which the tissue was retrieved, and then the process is complete.
It is recommended that you consume soft foods following a gum graft procedure. This will help you avoid disturbing the graft and allow the wound to heal. You should also avoid brushing or flossing the area surrounding the gum graft until the periodontist says it safe to do so.
You will experience some pain, mild bleeding, and swelling after gum grafting. Seek to secure the medication prescribed by the periodontist to help deal with any discomfort.
Follow-up visits allow the periodontist to assess the progress of the graft and provide adequate aftercare should an issue arise.
Finding a Provo periodontist
If you require treatment for receding gums in Provo, please contact us at the Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center. Let our knowledgeable and experienced Provo periodontist cater to your oral health needs in a comfortable environment so that you can have the best results.