Gum Grafts

women smiling wide with nice white teeth

Gum Grafts
at Vita Dental Wellness

Your dentist may suggest a gum graft procedure if you have receding gums.

Gum recession is a gradual process. You might not know you have it unless your dentist notifies you. Immediate treatment is crucial because the roots of your teeth become exposed. You can become more susceptible to oral problems, such as increased sensitivity, decay, and gum disease.

At Vita Dental Wellness in Chilliwack, BC, Dr. Seidlitz discusses why the surgical procedure is necessary for your situation and the steps to be taken going forward.

Book a consultation with our dentist if you feel you need a gum grafting procedure.

What Is Gum Graft Surgery?

A gum graft surgery treats thinning or receding gums. Gum recession causes the gum tissue to wear away and pull back. This can occur naturally due to aging. However, several other factors contribute to it, including the following:

  • Trauma
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Genetics

A graft can reduce the risk of gum disease and restore good gum health.

Signs You May Need Gum Grafts

Here are some signs you may need gum graft surgery:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and cold or when eating sweets
  • Becoming more susceptible to tooth decay and erosion
  • Brushing difficulties

Not everyone with receding gums requires grafts. Your dentist examines your gums, the pockets around your teeth, and the extent of the recession.

If you don't need surgery, they'll monitor your condition to ensure it doesn't progress. In general, the sooner a recession is treated, the better it is for your oral health. Your dentist or periodontist will explain the available options in detail.

What Happens During a Gum Grafting Procedure?

Your dentist chooses a gum grafting technique according to your specific needs.

Graft surgeries involve taking tissue from another location in the mouth and placing it where the gums have receded. Here are the steps involved in the procedure:

  • Your dentist will numb the area and offer sedation to help you relax during the procedure. This is discussed before surgery.
  • Then, an incision is made to create a small flap in the area. The next step is cleaning the roots of the teeth.
  • Afterward, the gum tissue is harvested from another part of the mouth.
  • Finally, it's time for the gum graft placement. The gum tissue is placed where the recession is, and the site is stitched up.

How long the procedure takes depends on the number of teeth requiring grafts. It could be completed in one hour if you only need one gum graft.

Types of Gum Graft Techniques

These are the different types of gum tissue grafts:

  1. Connective tissue grafts. Here, a cut is made at the roof of the mouth, and tissue is taken from its inner part to be transferred to the treatment site.
  2. Free gingival grafts. The tissue used in this technique is taken from the top layer instead of the inner tissue. This may be ideal for those with thin gums.
  3. Pedicle grafts. The gum tissue is removed from an area close to the recession. The gum is cut only on one side, so it can be pulled down and sewn into place afterward. Your dentist may recommend this if there's plenty of gum tissue at the treatment location.

Recovering After a Gum Graft Procedure

Gum grafting is an outpatient procedure, so you can go home after. Though, you may need to arrange your transportation if you received sedation.

Postoperative care is crucial to ensuring the long-term success of the procedure. Your dentist will provide instructions to follow for a smooth recovery.

At Vita Dental Wellness, Dr. Seitlitz performs gum grafts with the confidence that the recession won't occur again. Nevertheless, your cooperation is vital, especially during the healing process.

You must avoid physical activity and hard food until the area has healed. If you experience any issues, contact the dental office for immediate help.

Gum health is as important as tooth health. Don't set it aside. To learn more about receding gums and gum grafting procedures in Chilliwack, British Columbia, contact us at (604) 858-5152. New patients are welcome!