Occasionally as a treatment for gum disease or simply to enhance the appearance of the gums for a more attractive smile, patients will opt for a gum graft. The expert dentists at City Smiles DC have years of experience performing this procedure safely and effectively.
Reasons for Gum Graft
As people age, the gums naturally recede from their position, sinking closer to the jawbone. This can cause a variety of problems ranging in severity from unwanted exposure of the roots to increased sensitivity to hot or cold food to potential heart problems. The recession of the gums is quite common, affecting millions of people every year.
When gum disease is present, bacteria will often push the gums down as they compete for space to occupy in the mouth. In the long run, gum disease will often advance without treatment, eventually resulting in tooth loss and more.
A gum graft is a viable solution to the problems caused by receding gums. Over recent years, thanks to advances in technology and increased hygiene, the procedure can be performed in our office worry-free, safely and quickly. If you believe your gums may require treatment, you should schedule an appointment for a check-up.
How a Gum Graft Works
The most widely performed gum graft is a “connective tissue graft” graft, often called “flap surgery.” A piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth, or sometimes from a tissue bank if tissue cannot be removed from elsewhere in the mouth. Then, after the teeth are cleaned and unwanted bacteria removed, the tissue is placed over the receding gum tissue to cover exposed roots, restoring the gums and preventing further recession.
Another variety of graft is “pedicle graft.” This is similar in concept to the connective tissue graft, except that the tissue is taken from around the root of the tooth instead of the roof of the mouth.
Finally, a “free gingival graft” is performed by removing an entire swath of tissue from the roof of the mouth rather than a small section underneath a “flap” as in a connective tissue graft. This is the best treatment option for patients in need of a larger piece of tissue to relocate to the gums.
For each of these procedures, the entire operation can be completed in less than two hours. A second appointment is usually needed for follow-up and to check that everything is healing properly.
Benefits of Gum Grafting
After treatment, patients can expect a more vibrant smile, reduced or no sensitivity to hot and cold foods, improved overall function of the teeth, and better overall dental health. Your dentist might recommend specific dental cleaning practices to maintain healthy gums and lifestyle modifications like smoking cessation and dietary changes.
Schedule an appointment at City Smiles DC for a thorough evaluation of your gums and any necessary treatment. Our expert practitioners are ready to help you live a healthier, more confident life with rejuvenated gums. Our friendly administrative office staff can be reached at (202) 539-9499. Call today.
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