Gum Grafts

If you notice a few of your teeth have begun to appear longer or you experience sensitivity to hot and cold, your gums could be receding.

Gum recession affects many adults. It may be caused by aggressive or improper brushing technique, inflammation or disease, genetic makeup, hormone changes, diabetes and other illnesses, smoking, grinding or clenching, lip or tongue piercings and occasionally misaligned teeth. Receding gums may cause many problems in the future; cavities to the roots of your teeth, sensitivity and bone loss.

An examination with your dentist will confirm if you suffer from gingival recession and if it’s possible for you to have a gingival graft. Your dentist will make sure that your gums are free from infection and he/she will most likely recommend a cleaning first if you haven’t had one in a little while.

The treatment:

There are many ways to do a gingival graft. The one that is most common in general practices is the free gingival graft. Your general dentist may refer you to a specialist if the free gingival graft isn’t an option for you and he/she isn’t comfortable with any other types of gingival grafts.

The free gingival graft consists of taking a small layer of tissue from your palate (roof of the mouth). The small layer of tissue is then relocated to the recession site. This graft does not cover the root of the tooth that is exposed. It is made to reinforce the remaining gum tissue in order to stop the recession. The small layer of tissue is held in place by sutures. A bandage is put on the sutures and on the palate to reduce the sensitivity. This bandage will last for approximately 7 days.

After a graft, it is very important not to brush the graft area for about a week. After a week, you may start to brush again but it’s important to follow all the recommendations your dentist will give you.