Do you suffer from gum recession (gum shrinkage)? Are you concerned about long front teeth? Gum graft could be the solution. Dr. Elseweifi would evaluate you gum before any cosmetic or restorative procedures to make sure you have enough gum tissue for the planned treatment.
Gum graft surgery is performed to cover the roots of teeth exposed by gum recession. Gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity and cosmetic issues when it affects front teeth.
What causes gum recession?
- Toothbrush trauma due to aggressive brushing or using a firm brush.
- Gum disease causing bone and gum recession.
- Frenal pull caused by low lip attachment.
- Teeth crowding or malposed teeth.
Types of gum graft procedures:
Roots exposed by gum recession can be treated in four different ways. The choice of the procedure depends on the clinical situation and location of the gum recession.
- Subepithelial connective tissue graft: The gum graft is done using a piece of tissue removed from under the skin of the roof of the mouth. This piece of tissue is fixed in place in the area of gum recession.
- Free gingival graft: The gum graft is done using full thickness gum tissue removed from the roof of the mouth. This gum tissue is stitched at the gum recession area.
- Pedicle gum graft. The gum graft is done using a gull thickness gum tissue that is kept attached to the skin of the mouth. The gum graft is just rotated to cover the gum recession area.
- Alloderm gum graft: Rather than using your own gum tissue to do the gum graft, a tissue bank graft is used. This saves you a second surgical area where the gum graft is removed.
- Using platelet rich plasma (PRP) with different types of grafts.
Recovery after gum graft surgery
Healing after gum graft surgery usually takes several weeks. The gum tissue needs 4-6 weeks to look similar to the surrounding gum tissue.
During healing of the gum graft, the surgical area should be kept clean (with mouthwash) and the graft tissue should not move. After surgery, you should follow the following instructions:
- Do not smoke
- Do not pull you lips as this can move the graft tissue and cause failure.
- Do not use a toothbrush around the graft for 4 weeks in the graft area.
- Use a prescription mouth rinse.
- Use all prescribed medications.
- Eat soft foods for a week.
- Keep follow up appointments and all recall hygiene appointments.