Tissue Gum Grafting

Patients are often recommended for tissue gum grafting when root exposure is more than 3mm and becomes too temperature sensitive, a means to protect the tooth from further gum recession which can lead to tooth loss, or for cosmetic reasons. Periodontal disease is the most common reason for gum recession because when the bone dies around the tooth the gum recedes towards the bone. However other reasons for gum recession are brushing too hard, having misaligned teeth, grinding and clenching of the teeth, lip and tongue piercing, partial dentures, and genetics. One of the most common reasons patients decide to get a gum graft is to decrease tooth sensitivity, however some patients don’t experience a lot of sensitivity and decline a gum graft. Yet it may be recommended to prevent actual tooth loss and root decay.

Most dentists that perform tissue gums grafts take connective tissue from under the palate (roof of the mouth) and stitch it to tissue around the exposed root surface. When patients have thin gums and need their gums enlarged dentists will perform a free gingival graft and take the tissue directly from the palate. If patients have a lot of gum tissue next to a tooth that has a lot of gum recession then dentists will perform a pedicle graft and take tissue from the tooth adjacent to the one with the recession. Tissue banks are another means of graft material whereas no incisions of the palate are necessary. Your dentist will tell you which method will work best for you.

Having a gum graft allows the patient to have healthy gum attachment placed around the tooth to prevent further gum recession and bone loss from happening. Research has shown that gum grafting has the ability to regrow bone around the tooth by 50 percent. Root decay is also a problem for those with gum recession. The roots of our teeth are very soft compared to the enamel and very prone to cavities and gouging from brushing to hard. It’s common for patients to leave plaque at the gum line causing further gum recession and root decay.

Ways to Prevent Further Gum Recession:

  • The use of a night guard for those patients who grind and clench their teeth or have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder. Click here to learn more about the treatment of TMJ headaches.
  • Always use a soft tooth brush and mild toothpaste. Stay away from whitening toothpaste and baking soda because they are too abrasive. Brush in a circular motion instead of back and forth to prevent further recession
  • Floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for your dental cleanings
  • If teeth are misaligned orthodontics may be necessary, however movement of the teeth may cause some added recession in some areas.
  • If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease get it treated and have your teeth cleaned every three months
  • If your lip or tongue ring is causing gum recession around one or two teeth we recommend you remove it to prevent you from losing the teeth affected

This post is sponsored by Phoenix cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Chal.

Related links: TMJ pain, TMJ treatment

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