You got the word that you have periodontal disease. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you may have a severe problem with your gums. You may have red, swollen, or bleeding gums. If you don’t get treatment for your gums, they may be receding. In fact, your gums may be receding so much, you may lose teeth, or suffer a massive infection. When you get the diagnosis of gum disease, you may worry that you will lose all of your teeth - but you need to know there are treatments we can do for your gums, even if they are damaged. We can work to restore your gums after we treat them for periodontal disease. One of the ways we can help your gums is through a gum graft. Give Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry a minute to tell you about gum grafts, and why they are so important.
What Causes Gum Recession?
The most common reason that gums recede is because of gum disease. Gum disease is pretty easy to get, and tens of millions of people have gum disease worldwide. You can be at risk of gum disease if you use tobacco products. You can also be at a higher risk because of your genetics, or if you don’t have good oral hygiene. Also, your chances of having gum disease will be higher if you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Some people also have receding gums because they brush their teeth for too long or too hard. If you have bruxism - clenching or grinding your teeth at night - you are at greater risk of gum disease. Tongue and lip piercings can also increase your chances of gum disease - which could lead to gum recession.
What Are Gum Grafts?
There are three types of gum grafts that we can use on our patients. The first step in the treatment process is to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly. Next, we will treat your gum disease so that we can keep your infection under control. We can’t do a gum graft until we can control the infection. Once we have your infection controlled, we move to grafting.
The most common gum graft that we use for our patients is called a connective tissue graft. We take tissue, usually from the roof of your mouth, and we stitch the tissue over your receding gums. We may choose to do a free gingival graft, which is a graft with donor tissue. The free gingival graft is used for patients who need a large amount of tissue to complete the graft. Pedicle grafts are used when we need to stretch the tissue over the gum area in need of the graft.
Benefits to Gum Grafts
There are many benefits to gum grafts. The most important reason we perform a gum graft is to save your jaw. We need to make sure your jaw doesn’t lose bone, which it could with advanced gum disease. Gum grafts can make your teeth less sensitive to heat and cold by covering over exposed nerves. Your gums will look better with a gum graft as well, because grafts make your teeth look healthier.
If you have questions about gum grafts, or gum disease in general, give Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry a call at 508-441-4154.