Gum Grafting

gums and teethThe link between dental health and overall health has people looking in the mirror twice. How do your teeth and gums look? How do they feel? Are your gums bleeding, red, or swollen? Do they feel tender to the touch? Maybe they are pulling back from your teeth, or receding? Today people are interested in maintaining their overall health and looks, and because periodontal disease (gum disease) can mar both, periodontal plastic surgery is becoming a popular treatment option. If you have the symptoms of gum disease, your Encinitas, CA, periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania can counsel you regarding treatment.

Why Gum Graft Surgery?

Gum disease affects most of the adult population. Receding gums can be a symptom of gum disease.  In addition, abrasive toothpaste, brushing technique and trauma can result in receding gums.  Receding gums leave the root of the tooth exposed, affecting the aesthetics of your smile, causing tooth sensitivity, decay, and eventual tooth loss. Teeth roots should not be exposed!!  If your roots are exposed you have lost support for your teeth which can result in tooth loss.  Gum graft surgery replaces gum tissue. It is performed for various reasons including preventative, restorative, and cosmetic reasons.

  • Hypersensitivity: When the tooth root is exposed due to gingival recession (receding gums), sensitivity to heat, cold, or even a breeze against the root can cause pain.
  • Excessive Root Exposure: When too much root is exposed, or there is a build-up of plaque on the root, it can be too painful to brush. Plaque will cause decay and lead to tooth loss.
  • Restorations: Soft tissue grafting is sometimes recommended to protect supporting teeth, before crowns or implants are placed.

What Is Gum Graft Surgery?

Gum graft surgery is when tissue from another area of the mouth is grafted onto the existing gum making your smile more aesthetically pleasing, and replacing the natural protective barrier. There are many types of gum grafts including, connective-tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts. The difference is based mostly on what site the replacement tissue is taken from. Sometimes tissue-stimulating proteins are used for natural tissue growth. Other times the grafted tissue is taken from a tissue bank. Because receding gums happen gradually over an extended period of time, it may go unnoticed until symptoms become severe. Therefore, it is important to be aware of any changes in your dental health.

About Your Encinitas Periodontist:

To learn how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful so you can enjoy the benefits it offers, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.