If you have receding gums, it can leave the roots of your teeth exposed and cause extreme sensitivity, and even damage the bone beneath the teeth. Mahnaz Zandi, DDS, MS, at Art of Periodontics in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles, is a highly experienced periodontist who provides advanced gum graft surgery to patients with receding gums. Call Art of Periodontics today to find out more about gum grafts, or book an appointment online.
A gum graft is a procedure Dr. Zandi carries out if your gums are receding away from your teeth, exposing the root. Gum recession can cause damage to the bone beneath, so it’s more than just a cosmetic issue.
Gum recession takes place gradually so you might not notice there’s anything wrong until you start to develop sensitivity in your teeth as the receding gums reveal the roots. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to tooth loss, which a gum graft seeks to prevent.
Three alternative methods are used to carry out gum grafts, so Dr. Zandi recommends the procedure which is best suited to your case. These procedures are:
Connective tissue grafts involve creating a flap of skin in the roof of your mouth and extracting some of the subepithelial connective tissue underneath. Dr. Zandi uses this tissue to cover the exposed nerve roots, sewing it to the existing gum.
Free gingival grafts are similar to connective tissue grafts but use the first layer of tissue from the roof of your mouth instead of the underlying subepithelial connective tissue. Dr. Zandi uses this technique in patients who have thin gums that need building up.
Pedicle grafts are flaps that Dr. Zandi partially cuts from the gum surrounding the tooth that needs a gum graft. She pulls the flap, or pedicle, over the exposed tooth root and sews it into place, a technique that’s appropriate only in patients who have plenty of gum tissue.
Instead of using grafts from your own tissues, it’s possible to use donated material from tissue banks.
Tissues in the mouth do tend to heal quickly, so it should only take a week or two for the gum graft to heal fully. Dr. Zandi gives you information about how to care for your gum graft, for example using a special mouth rinse, and only eating soft foods to start with.
If you have tissue taken from the roof of your mouth, you’ll probably feel sore for a few days, but any pain should be manageable using over-the-counter pain medication.
If your gums are receding, or you’re experiencing increased sensitivity in your teeth, call Art of Periodontics today, or book an appointment online.