Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to some significant issues. It starts out with an infection in just the gums, but as it progresses, it can affect your teeth and even the jawbone.
One effect of gum disease is receding gums, which can cause severe problems. If this happens, you may need a gum graft.
What is a Gum Graft?
A gum graft is a surgical procedure that is meant to fix gum recession. When the gums recede, the roots of teeth are exposed, causing severe sensitivity as well as allowing harmful bacteria in, which can then lead to more infection. A gum graft aims to stop and prevent this from happening.
How Does it Work?
A gum graft replaces receded tissue with other tissues in any number of ways. The first way is to use tissue from under the skin of the roof of your mouth. A second way is to use palate skin. Or, a third way, if there is enough, uses other gum tissue that has not receded.
A dentist could also choose to use donor tissue. Maybe dentists believe that this is the best possible option. There is, however, the possibility of rejection. Or, your dentist could use proteins in an attempt to coax your current gum tissue to grow on its own.
It Is a Surgical Procedure
It is important to know that, even though not major, a gum graft is still a surgical procedure. Depending on which method your dentist chooses to use, you may need to be sedated. If this is the case, you should arrange to have someone be with you in order to drive you home. There may also be some pain and discomfort following the procedure.
Allow Yourself to Heal
You are going to need some time to heal after a gum graft. Eat only soft foods for at least a week following. Also, you shouldn’t use a toothbrush or floss until your gums have fully healed. You will need to rinse with a special mouthwash until you are healed in order to prevent plaque and your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics to ward off infection.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
After you are healed, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene practices. Brush at least twice a day and floss regularly. This will prevent gum disease from reoccurring.
When gum disease has progressed to cause your gums to recede, a gum graft may be necessary. But with proper healing and care, you are well on your way to preventing major problems from ever coming back.
Please contact us if you have any questions about how a gum graft can help to restore your oral health.