What is Gum Recession?
One of the most noticeable effects of periodontal disease (gum disease) is receding gums. Many patients wonder, what is gum recession? How can it be treated? Dr. Rodney Horvat, and Dr. Scott Cohen and the team at Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can restore gum tissue using innovative gum grafting techniques. The gums serve as a barrier to bacteria, so an inadequate amount of gum tissue can increase the risk of gum disease, bone and gum deterioration, and tooth loss. Patients who have lost gum tissue because of gum disease or health problems can look forward to a having a healthy smile when the gum tissue has been restored.
If you feel like your teeth appear too large when you smile or you are embarrassed by the amount of tooth showing when you smile, you may be a good candidate for a gum grafting procedure. We can restore gum tissue to reduce the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, and also increase the overall health of the gums and teeth. If you have been wondering, what is gum recession and how can it be treated, call us for a consultation.
Here is a closer look at the three main types of gum grafting procedures:
Connective Tissue Grafts
One way to restore gum tissue is with connective-tissue grafts. These are typically used to treat excessive tooth exposure around one or more teeth. During this procedure, a small flap of skin is elevated from the roof of the mouth and tissue is removed from under the flap. The harvested tissue is placed in a pouch created at the site of the gingival recession and exposed root surface and retained with a suture. This is the most predictable method to cover exposed root surfaces and to create an esthetic, natural and functional result.
EXAMPLES OF CONNECTIVE TISSUE GRAFTS
These are similar to connective tissue grafts in that a functional barrier of protective tissue is created to provide support for the remaining bone around the teeth while making the area easier to clean and less sensitive. This technique was first developed in the 1960s and is still our most predictable option to create firm gum tissue. The procedure involves harvesting a thin graft from the surface of the palate and placing it in the area where gingival tissue is lacking. This graft is not as predictable to cover exposed roots and the color of the healed graft is lighter than the surrounding tissue as compared with the above, connective tissue graft. The free gingival graft is usually reserved for the lower teeth where esthetics are not a great concern as these teeth are not visible during speaking, smiling, etc..
Free Gingival Grafts
EXAMPLES OF FREE GINGIVAL GRAFTS
With this procedure, the gum tissue is grafted from gum tissue around the tooth that needs to be repaired. A flap (pedicle) is partially elevated and then pulled up or down to cover the exposed root and then sewn in place. This is an attractive option for those with plenty of gum tissue near a tooth that needs to be repaired.
Tissue Bank Grafts
In addition to using natural grafts from the patient, it is possible to use graft material from a tissue bank. We can discuss the preferred method for you during your consultation.
Patients typically go home after a gum grafting procedure and must follow all post-op instructions from your doctor. It is important not to brush or floss the gum line that was treated until the area has healed completely. You will need to use a special mouthwash to help control plaque buildup during the healing. Gum grafting patients also need to limit their diet to soft foods to avoid aggravating the gum tissue. If needed, over-the-counter pain medication or prescription pain medication can help to manage pain. Patients typically return to work within a day or two.
Dr. Rodney Horvat, and Dr. Scott Cohen can restore gum tissue using the latest gum grafting techniques and help you achieve that beautiful smile! Call Periodontics & Implants for more information on what gum recession is and gum grafting procedures.