Gum grafts can help to reduce tooth sensitivity caused by a receding gum line, and improve the appearance of your smile. Here, our Edmonton dentists answer some frequently asked questions about gum grafting.
What is gum grafting?
Gum grafting is a type of dental surgery to correct the effects of gum recession, or improve the appearance of the gums. It is a quick and relatively simple surgery where your dentist removes healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and uses it to build the gum back up where it has receded.
What is gum recession?
Gum recession occurs when gum tissue wears away and exposes more of the tooth. It can cause increased sensitivity, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold items.
Because gum recession generally to happen slowly, many people don't realize it is happening, but if left untreated, gum recession could eventually lead to tooth loss.
What if I don't like the appearance of my gums?
Some people also choose to have a gum graft for purely cosmetic purposes, to help improve the appearance of their smile. This is because a gum graft can help to reduce the perceived length of the teeth and gums.
What can I expect during a gum graft procedure?
Your dentist will likely use local anesthesia to numb the area where the procedure will be done. Your dentist first removes a piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth or from nearby healthy gum tissue. Next they attach it to the area where your gums have worn away.
The procedure usually doesn’t take long, and you can leave as soon as it’s done.
What's the recovery process for a gum graft?
Complications of a gum graft, such as an infection, are rare uncommon. During the first week or two of your recovery, you'll just need to eat soft, cold foods (and avoid hard, hot foods) to make sure you don’t damage the graft.
Your dentist will likely recommend you use an antimicrobial mouthwash to prevent infections, plaque buildup on your teeth, or issues with the graft. If you’re dealing with any pain or discomfort, your dentist may also recommend an over-the-counter pain medications to provide some relief.