Receding gums are a serious dental condition that needs professional treatment. If you suspect your gums are receding, it is best to address your dental problems as soon as possible. Delaying treatment of dental issues will cause severe complications. Gum graft surgery, for instance, is only an option if you neglect your oral health.
There are usually less invasive treatment options, but those are only for mild cases of gum recession. If gum graft is the ideal treatment for your case, read along to learn about the ins and outs of the process. In addition to the cost of treatment and where you can find the best clinic for premium dental care and affordable prices.
What is a gum graft?
A gum graft is a microsurgical procedure that reverses receding gums. Due to bad oral hygiene and some other factors, tartar and plaque build-up can cause the margin of your gum tissue to pull back.
Without urgent care, receding gums can pull away enough to expose the root of your teeth. In this case, you will need a gum graft to correct the condition.
In medicine, a graft is any tissue that you take from one place and relocate to a different area. Because the tissue on the roof of our mouth has the ability to regenerate, it is usually the source of the gum graft. But there are other types of gum grafting that we will discuss below.
Types of gum graft procedures
There are currently 2 different types of gum graft techniques and their applications differ depending on the severity of your gum recession.
1- Soft tissue graft (Free gingival graft)
In a soft tissue graft, your dentist will remove a small tissue from the roof of your mouth and then attach it strategically to cover up the exposure. The gum graft stays in place via stitching. This protects your nerve tissue and teeth from infection.
In this procedure, you will not feel any pain as your doctor will induce local anesthesia or sometimes general anesthesia. The whole process can last anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours.
Recovery is rapid, you should expect to heal in a matter of two weeks at most. During this period, you may experience discomfort and pain. However, your doctor will give you the necessary medications to navigate your healing process with ease.
In regards to the stitches, your dentist will remove the stitches in 14 days give or take depending on your healing process.
2- Flap graft
In a flap graft, your dentist does not take graft tissue from anywhere in the mouth. Instead, your doctor will make use of the gingival tissue around the thinning gums. A flap graft gets its name from the technique, where your dentist will makes a small incision on your gingiva and keep one end attached to flip it over.
This procedure is ideal for thin gums that need extra thickness or even for receding gums.
Does gum graft surgery hurt?
No, all types of gum graft techniques will not make you feel pain during the procedure. Your dentist will apply local anesthesia, sedatives, or even general anesthesia in special conditions; and this will make sure you don’t feel pain or discomfort throughout the gum graft procedure.
Soreness, pain, or discomfort are symptoms that you will likely experience once the effect of the anesthesia wears off. But your periodontist will already prescribe painkillers and a number of other necessary medications to make sure you don’t feel extreme discomfort.
Gum grafting aftercare
Aftercare for a gum graft procedure is pretty simple. There are a number of instructions that you have to abide by to get the best possible results. These include:
- Limiting your diet to only include soft foods such as broiled vegetables, scrambled eggs, ripe fruits, yogurt, or any other items of food that have a similar consistency to the list above.
- It is best to consume cold beverages and foods such as ice cream. Heat can irritate your gums.
- You will have to avoid brushing the area of the gum graft or flossing it. This can disturb your healing and cause additional wounds that could possibly develop into infection and serious complications.
- Instead of brushing and flossing the area, use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent plaque build-up.