In Phoenix, AZ
Gum grafting is an effective way to physically restore your gums and protect the root of your tooth. If you have receding gums and the roots of your teeth are showing and are sensitive, speak with us to determine if gum grafting might be the right solution for you.
When Dr. Trujillo recommends gum surgery, it might cause feelings of fear, but the truth is that it’s a relatively simple, common, and necessary treatment in most cases. Gum grafting is a procedure that can protect your tooth or teeth from the effects of gum recession. It can also be used as a cosmetic treatment.
Gum recession is usually caused by gum disease, and it involves the gum surrounding the teeth shrinking away from the tooth. Sometimes, it can recede enough to expose the tooth’s root, which can make the tooth extremely sensitive to hot and cold, as well as potentially causing tooth loss. A gum graft may be the single best option to protect your tooth and restore your gums.
The Gum Grafting Procedure
Depending on your needs and what Dr. Trujillo recommends, you may go through one of three procedures: connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, or pedicle grafts. Here are the procedures involved with all three options:
- Connective tissue grafts: The most widely recommended procedure, during which some tissue is cut from a flap in the palate (the roof of your mouth). The tissue is stitched to the gum tissue before the flap is closed back up with sutures.
- Free gingival grafts: This procedure involves using tissue from the palate, but the tissue is removed directly rather than opening and closing a flap to access it. This is usually used in cases where only a small amount of tissue is needed to restore the gums.
- Pedicle grafts: In this treatment, the tissue is harvested from the gum near the tooth where it is to be grafted. The pedicle, a flap on the gum, is cut away and the gum is pulled over to cover the gum before it is sewn shut. This treatment might be recommended for those who have plenty of gum tissue surrounding or on the tooth.
Signs You May Need Gum Grafting
Gum recession is the most common reason for a gum grafting treatment, though not the only one. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of gum recession:
- The root of the tooth is exposed
- The tooth is extremely sensitive, especially to hot and cold foods/drinks/temperatures
- The gum tissue is inflamed
- You have been diagnosed with periodontal disease
- You are at risk of bone deterioration, gum deterioration, or tooth loss
Gum recession is a common sign of periodontal disease, which is a more advanced form of gum disease. Gum grafting is not the only procedure to treat periodontal disease and you may need additional procedures. However, gum grafting can play an important role in aiding the recovery of your gums, protecting the root of your tooth, and improving your smile.
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Aftercare And Recovery
You can go home immediately following your procedure unless you request a sedative to alleviate dental anxiety prior to the procedure. You will be given instructions for aftercare, such as not flossing or brushing the gumline of the area where the surgery took place for some time. Using antiseptic mouthwash will control plaque during this time. Eat soft, cool foods only for a week or two, and be prescribed pain medication or over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to aid your recovery.
Some bleeding and pain are expected, but if the bleeding doesn’t stop after applying pressure for 20 minutes or severe pain, bruising, or swelling persists for longer than we expect, you should call the office.
Ensuring The Best Gum Health Following A Gum Graft
Gum grafting is an effective way to physically restore your gums and protect the root of your tooth. However, to ensure that you don’t require another gum grafting treatment in the future, it’s important to take care of your gums.
Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are essential, but they must be backed up by a thorough at-home oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, rinsing once or twice a day with mouthwash, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking.
The Benefits Of A Gum Graft
Though the idea of harvesting and grafting tissue may sound intimidating, gum grafting is a relatively quick and simple procedure. Moreover, it has a host of benefits. Stopping the process of gum recession and bone loss and tooth loss that can follow are the most important factors. However, it can also reduce tooth sensitivity, prevent further root decay, and give you a more even gum line. All this can improve the aesthetic appeal of your smile and boost your self-confidence.
What To Expect
If you follow Dr. Trujillo’s recommendations, the success rate for a gum graft is very high. It takes some time for the final results to fully manifest. At three weeks, you will be able to see what your gums will look like when completely healed, but it takes around six to eight weeks overall for the gums to heal fully.
You may be called in for a follow-up appointment after some recovery time in order to remove the sutures—unless they are self-dissolving. Otherwise, we will simply want to ensure recovery has gone as expected and to arrange a treatment schedule to ensure that your gums stay healthy.
The Pinhole Surgical Technique
If a gum graft still feels intimidating there is another procedure that is also offered by Dr. Trujillo. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is an innovative procedure that treats gum recession without having to have a gum graft. Dr. Trujillo performs this procedure in as little as one appointment.
Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with us today! We’re glad to take a closer look at the situation, answer any questions and concerns, and help you on the road to a healthier, happier mouth.
I am so thrilled that I found this procedure and this office. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for alternatives to the traditional gum graft procedure for recession.