Healthy gum tissue protects your teeth from periodontal disease and sensitivity while also giving you a great smile. When your gums recede the teeth are more exposed to infection which could lead to increased risk of tooth loss in the future. This is an area where advances in dental technology allow us to use a collagen membrane which is used to create a regenerative tissue matrix. The goal is to increase coverage of the tooth root and tissue thickness. This approach avoids the necessity of using tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth, which can be a more complex and painful process. Your Palo Alto dentists have performed hundreds of these procedures and are able to perform the procedure in one visit.
Gum graft is a procedure that replaces missing gum tissue around your teeth or dental implants. There are two types of gum tissue in your mouth: thick, strong tissue found around your teeth and the roof of your mouth and weak, thin tissue that lines your cheeks and the floor of your mouth. Gum grafts restore the thick, strong tissue that is lost due to environment or genetic reasons.
What materials are involved in a Gum Graft?
Most commonly, your own gum tissue is used for a gum graft. It is taken from an area in your mouth where it is abundant and transferred to the needed area. Sometimes a commercial material made from natural tissue is substituted to build up the gum around teeth and implants.
What are the benefits of having a Gum Graft?
Gum grafts stop the continued recession of your gums away from your teeth. They may help decrease painful root sensitivity by covering up the exposed root surface. Grafts also protect the exposted root surfaces from excessive wear and notching. Gum grafts greatly improve the looks of the affected teeth and implants. Food accumulation around the teeth may be reduced after grafting.
What are the risks of having a Gum Graft?
The biggest risk to gum grafts is that they may not heal properly. They also may not integrate with the surrounding gum or may shrink while healing resulting in less coverage than anticipated. A gum graft may need to be repeated to get the desired result. Graft surgery can be painful for several weeks after the procedure, particularly when tissue is taken from the roof of your mouth.
What are the alternatives to having a Gum Graft?
The alternative is to do nothing and risk continued progression of the recession around the affected teeth or implants.
How can an existing bite affect my Gum Graft?
Abnormal tooth alignment and biting pressure are both important causes of gum deformities. Teeth that are tilted, crowded or rotated increase the risk for bone and gum defects. In order for a gum graft to be successful, tooth positioning issues and bite problems may need to be managed before performing the surgery.
Are there any post treatment limitations once I have a Gum Graft?
After gum graft surgery, you should not use a hard toothbrush or dental hygiene aids that may irritate the new gum. Use of these products may cause the new gum to recede. Once the gum graft has fully healed you should be able to clean the area as normal.
Your Palo Alto dentists offer bone grafting in order to improve the results of dental implants. Bone grafting is a routine, painless and straight forward process. When a tooth is removed the socket will collapse inward decreasing the amount of available bone for the future implant. In the old days, bone grafting required the use of the patient’s own bone taken from another area of the mouth. Thankfully this is no longer necessary, as we can use a xenograft or an allograft at the time the tooth is removed to preserve the socket and amount of available bone. The human body is then “fooled” biochemically into resorbing and replacing the graft with the patient’s own bone.