What is Gum Graft Surgery?
Do your teeth look longer or feel more sensitive than they did in the past? Gum recession may be changing your smile. A gumline that recedes exposes more surface area of the teeth, which can cause the teeth to take on a longer-looking appearance. This gingival recession process exposes the roots of the teeth that tend to be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and even tooth brushing and flossing activities. Gum recession commonly results from periodontal (gum) disease, bite misalignments, teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), and other causes and places the more decay-prone tooth roots at risk for damage.
When gum recession affects the smiles of Katy, TX patients, our dentist may recommend a gum grafting procedure to return the gumline to a healthier position of the teeth. Gum grafting uses tissue from your own mouth or a different viable source to replenish lost tissue and restore protection and appearance to your teeth. Talk with our Made Ya Smile team today about gum grafting if gum recession has changed the appearance of your smile or if you are beginning to notice tooth sensitivity.
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Do I Need Gum Graft Surgery?
Your gum tissues help to protect the root surfaces of your teeth, which are softer and more at risk for decay or damage when exposed to the oral environment. The appearance of your smile may also be affected, as gum recession exposes greater tooth surface and can leave your teeth looking longer and unbalanced in your smile. Our dentist may recommend a gum grafting procedure to bring a more youthful appearance and health back to your smile if gingival recession has affected your gumline and has placed your dental health at risk. The leading cause of gum recession is gum disease. However, genetics, teeth grinding and clenching habits, oral piercings, aggressive brushing and flossing techniques, and jaw and tooth misalignment can also contribute to a receding gumline.
Gingival recession treatment with gum grafting may be an ideal procedure to restore a healthy gumline if you are experiencing one or more of the following gum recession signs or symptoms:
• Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
• Sensitivity when brushing or flossing your teeth
• An aging or changing smile appearance
• Teeth that look longer than they used to
• An uneven or imbalanced gumline
How is Gum Graft Surgery Performed?
As a patient at Made Ya Smile, you can always count on our team to provide the comfortable care that meets your unique needs. Gum grafting surgery is performed under local anesthetic but can be paired with a sedation dentistry option to increase your comfort if you prefer. The process of restoring a healthy gumline through gum grafting involves using healthy gum tissues from other areas of your mouth to raise the gumline to a proper level on the teeth in areas with tissue has receded. In some cases, such as when it is not viable to source gum tissue from your mouth, other biocompatible tissue samples may be used to complete a gum grafting procedure.
Our team will review your gum grafting needs and help you determine the best approach to restoring a healthy gumline. There are several different ways to correct a gumline that has receded. The most common approach is a connective tissue graft, which sources healthy gum tissue from underneath a flap created in the roof of your mouth. Free gingival grafts take tissue straight from the top surface in this same area. In both of these approaches, the gum tissue samples are sutured in place to the gumline in areas where the recession has occurred. Borrowing tissue from an adjacent tooth, a pedicle graft uses excess tissue within the area and stretches it to cover the root of a tooth with gum recession. The flap is held in place with sutures until it heals.
Gum grafts effectively raise or lower the gumline to protect the root surfaces and restore a more youthful, healthier-looking smile. Over time, the grafted tissue will heal and blend evenly with surrounding gums to form a new gumline that better serves your smile and oral health. Depending on the number of receded areas, your gum grafting procedure may take place over one or several visits. We will be sure to provide specific instructions on keeping your teeth and gums healthy as you go through your grafting treatment.
How Long is the Recovery After Gum Surgery?
Following each of your gum grafting visits, you may want to take it easy for the first few days. You should wait to eat anything until you no longer feel numb. If you experience gum tenderness or discomfort in your grafting sites, non-prescription pain medication and cold compresses can help relieve your symptoms. Our dentist and team will tell you the best ways to care for your teeth and gums during the healing phase and may suggest eating a soft food diet during this time. To help keep bacteria buildup to a minimum, a prescription mouth rinse may also be recommended.
Over the next couple of weeks, your new gum tissues will start to blend with your existing gums to effectively create a healthier and more attractive smile. To achieve the best possible results and protect your new gumline, we encourage you to follow the home care instructions recommended by our team. We will schedule a follow-up visit for you to make certain you are recovering from your procedure as planned and assess the results of your treatment.
Does Insurance Cover Gum Surgery?
We will contact your dental insurance provider to learn whether coverage is offered through your specific plan if our dentist recommends gum grafting for your condition. Made Ya Smile offers several convenient payment options, including no-interest financing, and strives to make dental care more affordable for all patients. If you have out-of-pocket costs for gum grafting surgery, our friendly team is ready to help you find a solution that matches your needs and fits within your family's budget.
Treatment for Gum Recession
If gum recession has changed your smile, gum grafting surgery from our experienced Made Ya Smile team may be just what you need to restore oral health and aesthetics. Gum recession exposes the roots of teeth, causing an aging smile appearance and increasing the risk of damage to your tooth roots. Keep gum recession from interfering with your quality of life and how you feel about your smile. Schedule a visit to talk with our dentist at our Katy, TX dental practice to learn if gum grafting can help you overcome the effects of a receding gumline.