What is a Gum Graft?

Though you may see some gum recession when you check your mouth in the mirror, the only way to know whether you require a gum graft near Omaha is through a full examination by the dental professionals at Specialty Dental Care. Here’s everything you need to know about a gum graft procedure.

When is a gum graft needed?

If your gums have receded to the point where the root of a tooth (or teeth) is visible, a gum graft is essential for preventing further recession. Gum recession is typically a byproduct of gum disease, but it can also be caused by brushing your teeth too roughly and smoking. In rarer cases, the reason for receding gums is hormonal.

Along with halting gum recession, gum graft surgery near Omaha can also prevent bone and/or tooth loss, and is a good deterrent against tooth decay. Depending on the extent of your gum recession, after gum graft surgery you should expect to have a healthier mouth, less sensitivity in your teeth, and an easier time eating. Occasionally people will pursue a gum graft for cosmetic reasons, i.e. a better smile.

What is a gum graft?

A gum graft consists of taking tissue from a spot in the mouth, usually the palate, and using it to bolster the gums by covering an exposed tooth root. A lesser-used alternative is for a periodontist to get tissue from a tissue bank. There are also instances when proteins are used in an effort to stimulate the mouth to regrow the gum tissue on its own.

Depending on the extent of gum recession, you may require one gum graft or several.
The periodontists at Specialty Dental Care have three different types of gum grafts at their disposal: a connective-tissue graft, a free gingival graft, and a pedicle graft. Here’s how they differ:

Connective-tissue graft

This is the most common type of graft. It involves taking tissue from underneath the skin of your palate.

Free gingival graft

Similar to a connective-tissue graft, except that the tissue used is the palate skin itself, and not the tissue underneath the palate

Pedicle graft

This graft uses tissue that’s already around the tooth. A pedicle graft is the least common option because it only works if enough tissue is present.

What does the procedure consist of?

Even though a gum graft is not considered a major dental procedure, it’s still a surgery, and thus you may experience some pain/discomfort afterwards – especially since tissue is taken from the palate, which is a sensitive area. A sedative can be administered, but patients choosing this option will need to arrange a ride to and from our dentist’s office in Omaha.

Prior to surgery, our dentists will discuss the procedure with you: what to expect during and after surgery, what type of pain medication is best, and advice regarding what to eat post-surgery and how best to take care of your mouth. Your palate should completely heal after 1 – 2 weeks.

If you’re interested in learning more about a gum graft, contact your local Omaha dentists at Specialty Dental Care.