A gum graft can reduce further recession and bone loss. In some cases, it can cover exposed roots to protect them from decay. This may reduce tooth sensitivity and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both; a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health, which are key to eating, smiling and speaking with comfort and confidence.
How will you evaluate gum recession?
When a patient develops recession of the gums, it is important to have it examined by Dr. Nagatomo in order to determine the best treatment options to correct this problem and/or to prevent further recession.
The first step in planning the treatment of recession is to determine its cause. There are several causes of recession, such as excessive tooth brushing, inflammation due to plaque, periodontitis and even orthodontic movement. If the cause of recession can be eliminated, it may be possible to avoid other treatment. If it cannot be eliminated, the condition may require surgical intervention.
What happens during a gum grafting procedure?
There are different root coverage procedures that can be used in the treatment of recession. One such technique is the placement of a connective tissue graft. In this technique, a section of tissue is taken from the palate, which is the roof of the mouth, and used to cover the exposed root where the recession has occurred.
For this surgery, the first step is to administer adequate local anesthesia to the surgical sites, ensuring that the tissues are numb. Then Dr. Nagatomo will remove any caries or restorations that may be the cause of the recession or are the results of the recession. Dr. Nagatomo will then prepare the area where the recession has occurred in order to make room for the graft tissue by cleaning the tooth and area of root recession. The graft must be placed on a smooth, plaque-free root surface.
The next step is to harvest the connective tissue from the donor site. For increased comfort, we will provide the graft donor with a stent (mouth piece) to cover the wound while it heals. The tissue harvested from the palate is then immediately placed at the recipient site, and secured in the proper position with sutures.
The recovery process and next steps
The patient will be instructed to see us for a post-operative appointment, no later than two weeks after the surgery. At that appointment, Dr. Nagatomo will check the healing progress and remove any remaining sutures.
It is recommended that the patient avoid brushing and flossing around the surgical site for the first two weeks following the surgery, and that he/she rinse gently with 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate twice a day for 1-2 minutes. A soft diet is also recommended for the first 2-3 weeks following the surgery.