Gum health is a central part of your overall dental health. Your gum tissue plays a critical role in creating and maintaining a seal between your mouth and your circulatory system.
Most people know that the human mouth is filled with bacteria. While not all oral bacteria are harmful, there are certain types that can cause significant health problems if allowed to enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.
There are numerous ways your gums can change over time. Many people find that their gums recede as the years pass, slowly wearing away and exposing more of your tooth root surface. That is the basis of the old saying “long in the tooth” to refer to a person’s age.
Untreated gum disease (periodontal disease) can also cause problems with gum tissue. Advanced gum disease allows “pockets” to form where your gums connect to your teeth. These pockets provide a great place for bacteria to rapidly multiply and can weaken the connection between your teeth and underlying bone tissue.
Gum grafting is a treatment that replaces a portion of your missing or recessed gum tissue. It serves to cover exposed tooth roots and provide bolstered protection against bacterial infection.
There are different types of gum grafting, and your practitioner will discuss the options best suited for your needs. The tissue used in the grafting procedure can come from the roof of your mouth or from the gum tissue surrounding the treatment area. It is also possible to source gum grafting tissue from a tissue bank.
When the tissue is fully removed from one area then attached to another, the process is called a free gingival graft. When the tissue is stretched from a nearby area of your own gums, the process is called a pedicle graft, commonly referred to as flap surgery.
All this talk of cutting and repositioning can make it seem as though gum grafting is a painful process. In reality, gum grafting can be performed with little or no pain.
Prior to your procedure, you’ll receive numbing medication to keep you comfortable from start to finish. If your graft requires removing tissue from the roof of your mouth, a special type of liquid bandage is applied to soothe and protect the area.
Your gums are among the fastest-healing tissues in your body. Following your post-procedure care instructions will speed the process along. If you experience lingering discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications can usually bring relief. If you receive a prescription for antibiotics, it’s important to take them as directed to reduce the risk of infection.
To learn more about gum grafting and how it can improve your oral health, call Implants and Periodontal Arts - Endo Arts to set up a visit. Online scheduling is also an option.