Good oral health is not restricted to fighting tooth decay and cavities, fixing crooked teeth, or restoring your pearly whites. People tend to forget the health of their gums more often than not.
Gum recession is a real problem that can occur due to orthodontic treatment, aggressive brushing, or thin gum tissue. To solve this, you can get gum tissue graft surgery. The procedure’s success depends on preparation, implementing the correct grafting procedure, and recovery, all of which only an experienced periodontist can pull off.
There is a lot more to gum tissue graft surgery than meets the eye, and if you want to learn more about it, read on.
Gum tissue graft surgery is performed by a gum specialist, referred to more commonly as a periodontist. The procedure is the most appropriate treatment for receding gums, thus preventing the surfacing of the roots of teeth, leading to sensitivity and decay.
How gum tissue graft surgery works is that a healthy piece of tissue is extracted from the mouth’s roof. Tissue could also be extracted from healthy gum tissue.
The extracted tissue is attached in the area where gum tissue is receding. Basically, it is a two-part process that uses existing healthy tissue to correct receding gum tissue to protect your sparkly whites.
A lot of people do not know there are different types of gum tissue grafting surgery. Each type addresses different concerns. The type being recommended could vary depending on the severity of gum recession.
However, no matter the type of surgery, they all involve using healthy tissue to fix another part of your mouth where the gum is receding.
So, what are the different types of gum tissue graft surgery? Let’s take a look:
This procedure involves opening a ‘trap door,’ a small flap in the roof of your mouth. A piece of connective tissue is removed from the small flap, which is then stitched to the spot where gum receding occurs.
It is worth noting this is the most commonly performed gum tissue graft surgery of the lot.
This procedure involves extracting healthy tissue from a spot close to where the gum is receding via a flap. Said flap covers the gum that is receding, using local tissue rather than extracting it from another part of the mouth.
Pedicle grafting is quite successful because it does not cut blood flow in areas where the procedure needs to occur.
But then again, this procedure will only work if you have a considerable amount of healthy tissue surrounding your receding gums.
In the instance where gum recession has exceeded five teeth, periodontics may opt for alternative grafts. Gums that have receded extensively require a large portion of tissue, which, quite frankly, can’t be extracted from the patient since it could be dangerous.
Instead, porcine or cadaver grafts are used for the receded gums.
Similar to the connective tissue graft, this procedure too involves opening a ‘trap door.’ The procedure differs with how the tissue is used on an area where the gum is thinning.
This procedure prevents further gum recession from taking place.
What is interesting about gum tissue graft surgery is that it does not require extensive preparation. After a periodontist consultation, you will know the severity of your gum recession and what procedure would best suit your needs.
Before the surgery, no medications or dietary restrictions need to be followed.
On the day of the procedure, you will be taken to the procedure room. Local anesthesia will be applied to the area where the procedure is needed. It is possible that general anesthesia may be required instead.
The gum tissue graft surgery does not take a considerable amount of time.
Once the graft is secure and sutures are applied, you will need to use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
In some cases, a periodontist may ask you to stay an hour or two to ensure there are no issues.
Like any other dental procedure, the gum tissue graft surgery’s success depends on the recovery period. Enough emphasis cannot be placed on the fact you will need to follow post-op instructions to the word.
Take the necessary medications, like painkillers and antibiotics, for a quick recovery. At the same time, switch to a soft diet during the initial two weeks of recovery. Do not consume hot and hard foods that can irritate or burn the graft.
While you are recovering, you may be advised not to brush or floss to avoid disrupting the healing process. Your periodontics will instead recommend using an antimicrobial mouthwash to maintain your oral hygiene.
Gum tissue graft surgery is completely safe and is quite successful in reversing thinning or receding gums. Unfortunately, infections or complications may occur if proper post-op care is not maintained.
If you are suffering from unexpected bleeding or oozing, contact your periodontist immediately. In case you have pus, bruising, fever, and swelling, it indicates the graft did not hold or adapt, in which case the affected area will need to be re-grafted.
If you are worried about the costs associated with a gum tissue graft surgery, then you will be pleased to know it is an affordable procedure. The cost can vary depending on the graft’s size required, which could be anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
If you have dental insurance, then you will have nothing to worry about. To find out more details about what is covered, contact your dental insurance provider.
In conclusion, the information provided above will do more than answer all your questions regarding getting a gum tissue graft surgery. Now that you know what to expect, and if you were holding off due to a lack of information, you should immediately get a gum tissue graft surgery to prevent further damage to your gums.