Gum Grafting 101: All You Need to Know

Gum Grafting 101: All You Need to Know

Sep 01, 2020

If you look yourself in the mirror and notice a few teeth are longer than others or a portion of the tooth’s root is exposed, your gums may be receding, and in need of gum grafting. Keep reading to know more.

What is Gum Grafting, and Why Is It Done?

Gum grafting in Houston corrects gum recession. The condition forces the tissue surrounding the teeth to pull away, exposing the roots of your teeth. It may damage the supporting bone and increases the likelihood of cavities. Furthermore, your teeth may become more sensitive to cold or hot substances.

Gum recession is a gradual process, and you may not notice it at its initial stages. Over time the exposed tooth becomes unsightly and may lead to tooth loss. Our dentist recommends the gum graft to repair the damage and prevent further dental complications.

What Happens During the Grafting Procedure?

On the day of the surgery, our dentist in Houston, TX, will numb the area with local anesthesia. In rare cases, you will be on general anesthesia to put you into a deep sleep during the surgery. Depending on your dental needs, our dentist will perform one of the following:
Connective tissue grafts.

It is the most common gum grafting in Houston, TX, to treat one or more areas of gum recession. Our dental team cuts a flap of skin at the roof of your mouth. Next, we remove a connective tissue from under the top layer of the flap. Finally, we stitch it on areas in need of gum tissue.

Pedicle grafts.

Our dental team gets a tissue adjacent to the tooth in need of repair. We cut the flap (pedicle) partially for the edge to remain attached. We move the gum to cover the exposed tooth (area) and sew it in place. You will benefit from the procedure if you have excess gum tissue near the teeth.

Free gingival grafts.

The procedure is similar to connective tissue grafts, although the tissue is taken directly from the mouth’s roof. Next, we attach it to the gum area being treated. It is ideal if you have thin gum tissues and require extra graft material to curb further recession.

Our dentist may get a graft material from a tissue bank instead of the roof of your mouth. At times, tissue-stimulating proteins are used to encourage the body to grow bone and tissue naturally. Our dentist in Houston, TX, will advise on the best method applicable in your unique situation.

How Long Does It Take To Recover?

You will go home after dental work. However, you will wait for an hour or two to ensure there are no complications with the graft. If you were under sedation to help you relax, a family member would drive you home. Observe our instructions on postoperative care, such as:

  • Eat soft foods and cold drinks such as yogurt, soft boiled eggs, and ice cream.
  • Rinse your mouth with a special rinse to prevent infections and plaque build-up
  • Take antibiotics and painkillers as prescribed.
  • Don’t brush or floss the operation site unless our dentist gives the go-ahead. Cleaning the area before it heals may open the wound or cause an infection.
  • Avoid strenuous activities until the dentist says it’s okay.

Can the Procedure Fail?

The success rate of gum grafting is high. On rare occasions, though, the graft tissue may fail to attach correctly. If it happens, you will undergo repeat surgery. After the graft heals completely, you may not like its appearance. Inform us, and we will reshape the gum tissue and make it more appealing.

When to Call the Dentist

Complications of gum grafting in Houston are unlikely to happen. Contact our emergency dentist if you experience bleeding, which won’t stop even after applying pressure for 20 minutes. Still, if you feel severe pain, swelling, and bruising, get in touch with us soonest.

Take Away

Although the surgery may have been a success, dental problems may arise in the future. Proper oral care habits are crucial to prevent this from happening. Honor your regular dental check-ups and cleaning at Greater Houston Dental Arts to avoid serious dental complications.

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