Untreated gum recession and periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss – an oral health problem that troubles an estimated 178 million Americans. A dental procedure called gum grafting can help prevent tooth loss and improve the aesthetics of your smile.
Dr. Afshin Vahadi and Dr. Vafa Mirshams, the talented family and cosmetic dentists at Lone Star Dental Care in Frisco, Texas, provide customized gum tissue grafts for their patients who are experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of gum recession. In this blog, learn all about gum grafting, including how it can improve your oral health and give you a more beautiful smile.
Gum recession typically happens gradually as a result of gingivitis – the earliest stage of periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease. At first, you may experience gum irritation and bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth. If you don’t nip gingivitis in the bud, your gums will continue to recede, exposing your tooth roots.
When this happens, you’re likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods, along with a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as painful chewing and chronic bad breath. Left untreated, gum recession and periodontal disease often lead to tooth loss.
Before you get to that point, our dentists may recommend the relatively simple process of gum grafting.
Gum grafting is also called gingival grafting or soft tissue grafting. During this procedure, your dentist uses a small section of tissue from the roof of your mouth or another area of healthy gum tissue to replace an area of gum recession. A gingival graft helps prevent your gums from wearing away even more, as well as tooth loss.
There are three different types of soft tissue grafts our dentists at Lone Star Dental Care perform – free gingival grafts, connective tissue grafts, and pedicle grafts. Typically, we use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth and keep you comfortable during the procedure. If you’re nervous or anxious about the treatment, we also offer sedation dentistry to keep you relaxed and at ease.
In most cases, you can return home to rest and recover shortly after your gum grafting procedure.
Free gingival graft
If you have thinning gums or minimal recession, a free gingival graft provides extra tissue to help prevent further gum recession. During this procedure, we take a small amount of healthy gum tissue from the roof of your mouth and suture it to the area along your gumline that needs reinforcement.
Connective tissue graft
A connective tissue graft is the most common type of gum grafting. During this procedure, your dentist opens a small flap in the roof of your mouth and takes a section of connective tissue from underneath. We stitch this connective tissue along your gumline to prevent further gum recession and to improve the aesthetics of your smile.
For a pedicle graft, we use healthy gum tissue from an adjacent part of your gumline rather than taking the tissue from another part of your mouth. If your gums are mostly healthy around an area of recession, your dentist can move or stretch the adjacent tissue to where it’s needed. A pedicle graft is a highly successful type of gum graft since it doesn’t cut off blood flow in any area of your mouth.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
The Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST®, is not a traditional form of gum grafting, but we offer this innovative solution for gum recession. During the Pinhole Surgical Technique, your dentist creates a tiny hole in your gum tissue and uses special instruments to reposition the tissue over the exposed tooth roots.
Unlike the other forms of gum grafting, PST does not require cutting tissue away from another area of your mouth or sutures to keep the tissue in its new location. As a result, recovery may be more comfortable and faster than with other methods.
In addition to preventing further gum recession, gum grafting offers a variety of benefits, including:
Gum grafting involves minimal risk of infection as you heal, and most people fully recover about 2 weeks after surgery.
Are you unhappy with your gumline, or experiencing the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease? We can offer the right type of gum grafting for your needs and set you on a path to your best oral health.
Call our knowledgeable team at 972-325-7044, or request an appointment online today, to take the first step.