What is Gum Graft Surgery?
Receding gums are a common condition affecting the dental health and smiles of many Houston, TX patients. Caused by periodontal (gum) disease and other factors, gum (gingival) recession occur when the gums pull away from the teeth and reveal the tooth root surfaces. This not only changes the look of the smile, but it also elevates the risk for tooth decay and damage to the roots. Gum grafting is an advanced periodontal technique that Made Ya Smile Dental offers to repair the gums to a healthier level and revitalize the smile. Our periodontist has specialized training and years of experience in treating patients with gum graft surgery and is here to help you decide the treatment option best for your unique needs. To learn more about our gum grafting procedures, schedule your consultation with our caring team today.
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What Are the Benefits of Gum Grafting Surgery?
Patients with receded gums may be more susceptible to developing oral health conditions. Gum grafting is an effective treatment option to improve gum health; in fact, gum grafting offers several oral health advantages. A few of the primary benefits include:
- Reduced tooth sensitivity
- Covers exposed roots
- Protects roots from developing tooth decay
- Revamps the appearance of your smile
Do I Need Gum Graft Surgery?
A receding gumline may result from a number of sources but is often caused by gum (periodontal) disease. Teeth grinding or clenching, over-aggressive brushing techniques, bite misalignment, and oral piercings can also contribute to gum recession. Genetics may even play a role in some cases. If gum recession has occurred in your mouth, your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures or even brushing and flossing. You may notice that your gumline has changed or your teeth look longer or discolored around the gumline. Any of these signs or symptoms may indicate a receding gumline. To help Houston, TX patients restore health, comfort, and appearance to their smiles, our periodontist offers several treatment approaches for gum grafting care.
How is Gum Graft Surgery Performed?
The process of gum grafting treatment replenishes areas of the gumline that have receded with gum tissue taken from your own mouth or another safe and healthy source and attaching it directly to areas in need. This covers exposed tooth roots and returns the gumline to a better, more attractive position on the teeth. At Made Ya Smile Dental, our top priority is keeping you comfortable during your treatment. We will thoroughly numb your gum tissues and can offer sedation techniques to help keep you relaxed.
During your treatment consultation, our periodontist will determine the best method of gum grafting based on your treatment needs. Connective tissue grafts are the most commonly performed and involve taking healthy gum tissue samples from your hard palate, just under the top layer of tissue. Free gingival gum grafts use tissue directly from the surface of the hard palate. Pedicle grafts are ideal options when an abundance of tissue is located near a tooth with gum recession. In this case, a flap is created in the nearby gum tissue and stretched over the tooth to cover the exposed tooth root. When it is not ideal to use tissue from your own mouth, our periodontist may source gum graft materials from a biocompatible synthetic source or a soft tissue bank.
Your gum tissue samples will be sutured in place to cover areas of gum recession on your teeth. As your treatment sites heal, the new gum tissue will blend seamlessly with surrounding tissue to create an even, healthier gumline. If you have multiple areas that require care, our periodontist may schedule separate visits to complete your treatment. We will be sure to give you instructions on how to care for your gums following your gingival recession treatment.
How Long is the Recovery After Gum Surgery?
After your gum grafting procedure, we recommend that you wait to eat until the numbness has completely dissipated. It is also a good idea to minimize physical activity and take it easy for the first few days after your procedure. Any gum tenderness or discomfort that you experience can typically be relieved with nonprescription pain relievers and cold compresses applied to the lower facial areas. You may also wish to eat a soft food diet until any tenderness subsides. Your new gum tissues will take some time to fully integrate with your gumline.
During this recovery phase, we strongly encourage you to follow our periodontist's recommendations on brushing and flossing to give your grafted areas the chance to fully heal properly and generate the best possible results for your smile. Medicated mouth rinses may be suggested to help keep plaque and bacteria buildup to a minimum as you recover from your gum graft surgery. To check your healing response, we will schedule a follow-up visit with our team at Made Ya Smile Dental a few weeks following your procedure.
Does Insurance Cover Gum Surgery?
At Made Ya Smile Dental, we accept most PPO dental insurance plans. Before beginning your procedure, our team will contact your provider and learn if your plan offers coverage for gum grafting treatment. If you have any personal expenses or are not using dental insurance, we will be happy to review our convenient payment options and provide information on flexible payment plans with our financing partner, CareCredit®.
Gum Grafting FAQ
Does gum grafting hurt?
Gum graft surgery at one of our Houston, TX offices should not cause you pain. Our team utilizes a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area to ensure that you remain comfortable. It is normal to feel pressure or movement during your procedure, but you should not feel any significant pain or discomfort.
How long does gum grafting take?
It can take 1 – 1.5 hours to replace gum tissue. If you have any questions about gum disease or to find out if gum grafting can benefit you, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
What foods should I avoid after a gum graft procedure?
We recommend avoiding certain foods in order to protect your new gum graft. Some of these foods include:
- Crunchy foods like popcorn, potato chips, or nuts
- Spicy foods like peppers
- Citrus, including fruits, tomatoes, or lemonade
- Sticky substances like candy or bagels
- Tough substances like raw vegetables or steaks
Treatment for Gum Recession
Has your smile been affected by gum recession? Gum grafting care from our periodontal specialist can return your gumline to a healthier and more attractive position. A gum grafting procedure can also help to protect exposed tooth roots and reduce tooth sensitivity for greater oral comfort. To learn if gum grafting treatment can help your smile, get in touch with our team at Made Ya Smile Dental in Houston, TX today and schedule a consultation with our skilled periodontist.