Encinitas Periodontist Answers: What is a Gum Graft?

woman covering her smile shylyHow your gums look can significantly impact your smile’s appearance. For instance, a gummy smile (excessive, uneven periodontal tissue) can make your teeth appear crooked even though they’re perfectly straight. Your periodontal tissue’s health, however, affects much more than appearance, and if it can’t effectively perform its duties, then your entire oral health is at risk. Today, your Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, explains how a gum graft can provide afflicted gums with the support they require, and how you can help prevent damage or disease from compromising your periodontal tissue.

A Little Support for Your Gums

The soft, pink tissue that surrounds the bottom of your teeth actually serve to support and protect the roots of your teeth, which erupt from your jawbone. Unlike the crowns, or top portions, of your teeth, the roots aren’t protected by strong tooth enamel. Instead, your gums seal the roots from harmful bacteria and other irritants. Exposed roots are prone to decay and can be painful. Recessed gum indicates bone loss- which can lead to tooth loss! A gum graft is a surgical procedure that utilizes your own tissue, or tissue from another donor source, to restore this seal when it’s been compromised by gum recession or periodontal disease.

Issues that Threaten Your Gum Health

Periodontal disease is one of the most common afflictions that can threaten your gums. In fact, its severest form, periodontitis, can destroy your gums and underlying jawbone enough to cause tooth loss. Nevertheless, gum recession can occur for a number of reasons other than disease, such as aggressive tooth brushing or age. Maintaining good hygiene can help prevent the onset of gum disease and protect the rest of your oral health, as well. A diligent schedule of dental checkups and cleanings can allow Dr. Kania to thoroughly inspect your mouth and spot the early signs of gum recession. With advanced periodontal treatment and improved dental hygiene, your gums may heal and reattach to your teeth without the need for a surgical gum graft.

Learn More About Good Gum Health with Your Encinitas Periodontist

For more information on how to prevent gum recession and periodontal disease, or to learn if a gum graft can help restore your periodontal tissues, seek the expertise of your Encinitas periodontist. You can contact Dr. Kania by calling our office at (760) 642-0711. Located in the 92024 area, we proudly serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.