What Is Gum Graft Surgery and Do You Need It? Have you recently been informed that you need gum graft surgery? Unsure of what it entails? Then you’re in the right place.
Below, we’re going to get into the specifics of the surgery, discussing everything from the condition that necessitates it, to its benefits, to the procedure itself. Let’s go!
What Is Gum Graft Surgery?
Over time, due to improper brushing or inconsistent oral hygiene, the gums can pull away from the teeth. This is known as gum recession, and, in some cases, it can happen to such an extremity that the roots of the teeth become exposed.
Gum graft surgery is a procedure used to correct this problem. By taking tissue from another part of the mouth and transferring it to the affected area, a dentist can eliminate gum recession and all of the negative effects that it brings.
Benefits of Gum Grafting
There are numerous benefits to gum grafting, some of which are cosmetic and some of which are functional. We’ll get into the most prominent of these benefits below.
Worn down and recessed gums are not generally considered to be aesthetically pleasing. As such, gum grafting can serve to improve the overall aesthetic of an individual whose gums are recessed.
Gum grafting provides greater symmetry amongst teeth while simultaneously hiding tooth roots that might otherwise present themselves. In many cases, it can turn a deteriorated smile into an inviting one.
Staves Off Bone Loss
In situations where recessed gums are caused by gingivitis, there is an inherent risk of bone loss. The more decay that occurs, the greater risk there is of the jaw bone being affected.
Fortunately, gum grafting can be utilized to reverse the effects of decay, stopping both gum and bone loss in their tracks. In this sense, gum grafting can have positive long-term repercussions.
Reduces Tooth Sensitivity
As was noted above, gum recession can reach a point at which it causes the roots of teeth to become exposed. When this point arrives, the teeth can become exceedingly sensitive to heat, cold, or pressure.
The good thing is that gum grafts can combat this problem. Because they prevent the roots of the teeth from being exposed, they turn heat, cold, and pressure into non-factors.
Types of Gum Graft Procedures
There are a number of different types of gum graft procedures. Below, we’re going to discuss the most common of them.
Pedicle grafts are used in scenarios where the patient has a great deal of gum still growing around his or her affected tooth. This is a form of grafting in which the gum is only partially cut and then pulled over to cover the affected area. Once the affected area has been covered with the trimmed gum, it is held down with the use of stitches.
If there isn’t a great deal of gum around the affected area, your dentist might utilize a connective-tissue graft. This is the type of graft that is taken from the roof of the mouth and then transferred to the affected area. One it has been transferred, both the affected and graft donor areas are stitched up.
Free Gingival Grafts
In some cases, individuals will require gum grafting due to the thinness of their gums. These individuals aren’t dealing with an all-out recession, but are in danger of it if they don’t have the procedure performed.
When these individuals are being operated on, they utilize free gingival grafting. Free gingival grafting includes taking a graft from the roof of the mouth and placing it over the thin area. Then, stitches are used to secure both it and the area from which it was taken.
Graft Bank Grafting
In rare cases, when the patient has no viable grafting donor areas, he or she might receive a graft from a graft bank. This graft will be inserted over the affected area and then stitched into place to ensure that it remains.
Recovering from a Gum Graft Procedure
There is definitely some discomfort associated with gum grafting. For some, this discomfort can be extreme; For others, it will be mild. In any case, in order to combat discomfort, you’re going to have to implement some important tips when recovering.
First and foremost, you’ll want to lay off solid foods for a few days. Instead, it’s wise to utilize a liquid diet. Soups, smoothies, and other liquid foods are the best options.
After a few days, your pain levels will have gone down a bit. However, you should still refrain from eating hard foods. Instead, eat soft foods like bananas, bread, yogurt, and mashed potatoes.
Rest is key as well. The more you rest, the faster your body will heal. Though you can exercise, you should aim to keep it light.
All the while, you should be utilizing methods to reduce pain. Painkillers will be a big part of this, and ibuprofen, in particular. Your dentist will likely also give you antibiotics in order to stave off infection.
Another pain reduction option is to apply ice. Applying ice for twenty minutes at a time will reduce swelling, cut down on inflammation, and numb any pain that might exist.
The pain should start to subside after a week or two. If you encounter any complications, you’ll have to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Learn About Other Dental Procedures
If you suffer from recessed gums, you will more than likely — at one point or another — require a gum graft. Not only will a gum graft improve your aesthetic, but the health and functionality of your teeth as well.
Looking to learn about other dental procedures? Women Fitness Magazine has you covered.
Check out some of our other oral care articles now!
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What Is Gum Graft Surgery and Do You Need It?
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