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Gum Grafting is a dental surgery performed to modify the shape and length of the gumline – the upper line of the soft tissues that shield the roots of your teeth.

You may opt for Gum Grafting due to cosmetic or medical reasons. These could range from dissatisfaction with looks to gum recession, a condition where the gumline recedes and exposes the sensitive roots of the tooth. At Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston, we do not only offer the surgery but also aspire to ensure that patients fully understand the procedure. Learning about what you intend to sign up for is vital, as it can help you make informed choices.

Why The Need For Gum Grafting?

Some people naturally have an uneven gumline, and some develop one due to poor dental hygiene or as a side effect of other periodontal diseases. Gum recession often results from uneven gums, but you can also develop it if you face poor oral hygiene. Mistakes as small as applying too much pressure while brushing or using an old toothbrush with spiky bristles can also cause gum recession. If you deal with uneven gums for any reason, you may want to enhance your smile through gum grafting. Though significantly effective, it is a personal decision and does not necessarily affect your health.

The complications arise when you suffer from gum recession because of a deformed gumline. It is a widespread problem that happens when these protective tissues erode, leaving the roots of your tooth vulnerable. It is not desirable as it creates room for microbial infections and inflammation that makes you susceptible to tooth decay. In this case, gum grafting is crucial in alleviating the complications.

What Are Gum Grafts?

In medical terminology, grafts are the muscles, organs, or tissues taken from one area and implanted in another. The central procedure in gum grafting is the implantation of healthy tissues on the gumline. These may come from different mouth regions, depending on factors like the current condition of your gumline and your preference. As these are healthy tissues, they can improve the well-being of your gums after transplant. Some common types of gum grafts include connective tissue drafts and pedicle grafts.

Free Gingival Grafts

The Free Gingival Graft (FGG) is a surgical procedure frequently used to increase the amount of keratinized tissue (gum tissue with a superficial tissue layer called keratin) that surrounding a tooth or a dental implant. Keratinized tissue plays a major role around teeth and dental implants, helping in maintaining and facilitating oral hygiene.

The indications for a free gingival graft are:

  • Increase of keratinized tissue adjacent to teeth, dental implants or edentulous ridges.
  • Coverage of certain gingival (gum) recessions.

There are several steps when performing the procedure. Our specialists will first determine if there is gum recession and/or the tooth/implant needs keratinized attached tissue. Step 2 will prepare the site (mucosal bed) to receive the graft. Step 3, will harvest the graft from your palate. Step 4, Suture the free graft onto the previously prepared bed.

Connective Tissue Graft

It is the most effective type of gum graft and includes taking the connective tissues from the palate. After desensitizing you, so it does not hurt, we sculpt a flap on your palate and then carefully extract connective tissue from underneath it. It is also known as subepithelial tissue, as it comes from the second layer after epithelial – the outer one. This tissue is then attached to the recession impacts in your gums, and you can expect it to regenerate healthy gums.

Pedicle Graft

Pedicle graft is so-called because it is taken from an area near the area of the recession in your mouth. The proximity is essential because a pedicle graft is not entirely separated from its original position. While one end of the graft is still attached, we link the other end to the receding gums. This link is like a lifeline that rejuvenates your perishing gums after a while.

The Recovery Process

The recovery time extends over a few weeks. Until then, it would be best to follow the guidelines like dietary plans or instructions about oral hygiene the dentist gives you. As the tissue graft is fresh, practicing caution and proper care would ensure it does not turn into a wound. If you have any follow-up questions, would like to consult about Gum Grafting, or book an appointment, you may relieve your worries by contacting Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston at (713) 785-9599.