Preserve Your Smile with Gum Grafting
If you suffer from gingival recession as a result of periodontal disease or other oral health complications, gum grafting can cover exposed tooth roots and restore health and beauty to your smile. At Czaplicki Family Dentistry in Milwaukee, WI, our team is dedicated to protecting your oral health. Drs. Don and Cathleen Czaplicki can perform a gum graft as part of your periodontal care treatment plan or to address gum recession related to aging.
Understanding Gingival Recession
Also known as receding gums, gingival tissue loss causes the tooth roots to become exposed. This condition is common in adults over the age of 40.
What Causes Gums to Recede?
The most common cause of gum recession is periodontal (gum) disease. Other causes include:
- Improper flossing
- Overaggressive brushing
- Genetic predisposition to thin, fragile, or insufficient gum tissue
- Chewing tobacco
- Abnormal tooth position
- Piercings that rub the gums, such as lip or tongue piercings
In some cases, gum recession is caused by gingivitis and may be accompanied by inflamed or bleeding gums and bad breath. There are some instances in which treating gingivitis reveals gum recession that was previously masked by swelling.
For most patients, gum recession is not an acute issue. Gums recede gradually over the years, meaning recession often goes unnoticed until the condition begins to cause symptoms, such as:
- Exposed or visible roots
- Tooth mobility
- Cavities below the gum line
- Changes in appearance, including teeth appearing longer or changing color
During your visit, our team can review your medical history as well as any signs of gingival recession to determine whether you require a gum graft.
What Is a Gum Graft?
A gum graft is a surgical procedure that uses grafted soft tissue to cover exposed dental roots. There are three main types of gum grafts. A free gingival graft is used to thicken gum tissue with a graft from the patient's soft palate. A subepithelial connective tissue graft removes tissue from below the epithelium of the palate to cover exposed roots. The last graft type is an acellular dermal matrix allograft, which uses medically processed tissue rather than a donor site.
Gum Grafting Procedure
Before receiving a graft, you will need to ensure your gums are completely healthy. If your gum loss is due to periodontal disease, you will likely need to undergo a scaling and root planing treatment first. Gum grafting is usually performed under local anesthetic, though your procedure will depend on which type of graft you receive.
During the procedure, Dr. Czaplicki can create a small pocket at the recipient site to accommodate the graft. Then your doctor can place the grafting material between the incisions and stabilize it with sutures to prevent any shifting. Typically, it takes about six weeks for the gums to heal and achieve uniformity.
Improve Your Gum Health
A gum graft can not only enhance the appearance of your smile. It also provides significant health benefits. A graft can reduce dental sensitivity associated with root exposure, allowing you to enjoy hot and cold foods or beverages without pain. Grafting can also halt tissue and bone loss caused by periodontal disease, preventing further issues from developing.
Whether you need a scaling and root planing procedure, a gum graft, or another form of periodontal care, Czaplicki Family Dentistry is here for you.
It is important to keep your gums healthy after a graft. Good oral hygiene and a healthy diet can help to preserve your smile. You should also schedule regular dental and periodontal checkups so your doctor can keep an eye out for signs of recession in the future.
Receive the Care You Need
Whether you need a scaling and root planing procedure, a gum graft, or another form of periodontal care, Czaplicki Family Dentistry is here for you. We offer a wide variety of treatment options and can design a long-term plan to protect your oral and overall health. A gum grafting procedure at our office can offer significant benefits to smiles compromised by gum recession. Find out more by contacting us online or calling (414) 427-9090 to schedule a consultation today.