Soft Tissue Grafting An Overview
Soft tissue grafting, or gum grafting, is often recommended to prevent further gum recession or to cover tooth roots that have become exposed. Gum recession can occur due to a variety of different reasons, including periodontal disease, over brushing, hormonal changes, poor oral health, and teeth grinding/clenching. When gum recession occurs, patients are at an increased risk of developing deep pockets, which are prone to bacteria buildup. If left untreated, patients can experience severe tooth damage or tooth loss.
Gum grafting is often a collective term for periodontal procedures that aim to address exposed roots and receding gums. Dr. Jody Harrison of Asheville, NC, can discuss your options and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your dental health.
Most Common Types of Gum Grafting
The type of grafting procedure that your dentist performs will depend on your specific dental needs.
- Connective-tissue grafts: Your dentist carefully cuts a small flap in the roof of your mouth and removes a piece of connective tissue from under the top layer of tissue. The tissue is stitched to the gum tissue that surrounds the exposed root.
- Free gingival grafts: Your dentist removes a small amount of tissue directly from the roof of the mouth. The tissue taken from the roof of the mouth is attached to the affected gum area. This form of grafting is ideal for patients with thin gums.
- Pedicle grafts: Instead of moving tissue from one area of the mouth to the gums, pedicle graft used healthy gum tissue that is surrounding the affected tooth. A piece of the gum is partially cut and pulled over the exposed root and secured into place.
Depending on your needs, you will need an autograft or an allograft. An autograft uses tissue from your mouth to repair your gums. An allograft uses tissue from an organ donor or another source to repair your gums.
Reasons For Gum Grafting
Gum grafting is needed for a variety of different reasons. As an experienced periodontist, Dr. Harrison always makes recommendations with the needs of our patients in mind.
- Enhanced gum health: Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your gum health and overall dental health. Is can lead to tissue damage and may result in tooth loss if not properly addressed. Gum grafting can help prevent further bone loss and tissue loss.
- Improved appearance of your smile: Gum recession leads to root exposure, which causes the teeth to look longer or bigger than they are intended to appear. Gum grafting can be implemented to improve the appearance of your smile by reducing the appearance of a “gummy” smile.
- Minimize tooth sensitivity: When the tooth root is exposed, patients are more likely to experience tooth sensitivity. Gum grafting helps reduce tooth sensitivity, allowing patients to enjoy their favorite foods and beverages, as well as improve their gum health.