A gum graft is a common procedure performed by a periodontist.
Gum grafts are suggested when it is necessary to protect teeth from gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth begins to recede, this leads to more of your tooth and its root being exposed.
Gum recession is caused by a number of things including:
- Periodontal disease
- Harsh brushing of your teeth
- Poor oral hygiene
If left untreated, gum recession can cause damage to your teeth and tooth loss. This is where a periodontist can apply a gum graft procedure.
There are three types of gum grafts:
- Connective-tissue graft
- Free gingival graft
- Pedicle graft
We are going to focus on the most common one which is the connective tissue graft.
Step 1: Anesthesia
The periodontist will begin by giving you a local anesthesia to numb any pain.
Step 2: New Gum Tissue
To replace the gum tissue around your teeth, your periodontist will cut a flap from the roof of your mouth and use the tissue underneath, called subepithelial connective tissue, to apply to your gums.
Step 3: Connecting New Tissue to Gums
Once they have the new gum tissue, the periodontist stitches the new tissue to the gums surrounding the tooth that is exposed.
Step 4: Reconnecting Tissue to Mouth
After the periodontist has fixed the gum tissue around the exposed tooth, they will stitch the flap of skin to the top of your mouth, covering the subepithelial connective tissue.
Gum grafts are the best way to protect your teeth from the effects of gum recession. Gum recession may be hard to notice since the tissue gradually recedes. It is important to maintain regular trips to the dentist so they can spot any early signs of gum recession.