How Long Does It Take To Heal From Gum Grafting?
Your dentist may tell you that you need a gum grafting procedure after a checkup. This can leave you feeling worried and in a state of fear. But is a gum graft that bad? We assure you it’s not. Although a “gum graft” sounds complicated and painful, it’s nothing to be afraid of. Unfortunately, only a few people know about gum grafting, which may have contributed to people being afraid of having it done. We have thus decided to talk about bone grafting, what it entails, and the recovery process once you’ve had it done.
What Is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting, or gum graft surgery (also called periodontal surgery or gingival graft), is a simple dental procedure that can be done by a periodontist in Tallahassee to cover exposed tooth roots caused by gum recession. Simply put, gum grafting protects teeth from damage that may occur after gum recession. It is also done for cosmetic purposes to improve a patient’s smile.
Gum recession is a common dental condition as it affects more than 12% of adults. The dental problem occurs when tissue surrounding teeth pull away, exposing the tooth roots. It usually doesn’t occur once but gradually; thus, people rarely notice it immediately.
Exposed tooth roots can cause tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold food and beverages. In addition, if not treated early, gum recession can damage the jawbone and cause tooth loss. It’s, therefore, best to see a periodontist near you
soon as your gums start to recede.
Causes of Gum Recession
Gums can recede due to various reasons. Below are a few common causes of gum recession:
- Periodontal Disease : gum disease is currently the leading cause of gum recession. There are several mouth bacteria that can cause gum infections when left to multiply. The bacteria tend to attack and destroy gum tissue and bones, which support and hold your teeth in place.
- Brushing Too Hard : abrasive mouth cleaning products like a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage your gums, teeth, and restorations. Brushing too hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause the tooth enamel to wear/ erode and your gums to recede.
- Genetics : genetics plays a significant role in our dental health and features. Studies show 30% of the population may be susceptible to gum disease regardless of how well they take care of their teeth and gums. This is simply because of their genetic makeup, which, unfortunately, is impossible to change.
- Hormonal Changes : women tend to experience a lot of hormonal changes in their lifetime, especially during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. This can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum problems such as gum recession.
- Bad Dental Hygiene : neglecting your teeth and gums by not practicing good dental hygiene may have dire consequences in the future. Not blushing, flossing, and rinsing your teeth properly and regularly with the right mouth cleaning products may make it easy for plaque to accumulate and turn into tartar. If not removed through professional dental cleaning, it may cause gum recession.
Gum Graft Surgery: Procedure
There are different types of gum treatments ; therefore, the one your dentist in Tallahassee will use on you may differ from what they used to treat another patient. Here are common gum graft surgeries and how they are done:
- Connective Tissue Graft : this is the most common gum graft for treating exposed tooth roots. During a connective tissue graft, your dentist will cut out a flap of skin from the roof of your mouth (palate) tissue and underneath the flap called subepithelial connective tissue. The tissues will then be stitched to the gum tissues surrounding the exposed root. Once done, they’ll stitch the flap down.
- Free Gingival Graft : similar to a connective tissue graft, a free gingival graft involves taking and using tissue from the mouth’s roof. However, this time tissue will be removed directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area to be treated instead of making a flap like in a connective tissue graft. Free gingival grafts are often used in people with thin gums who need additional tissue to enlarge their gums.
- Pedicle Graft : in a pedicle graft, tissue is grafted from the gum near the tooth that needs restoring. The pedicle is a flap that is partially cut away to leave one edge attached. Gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root and stitched in place. This procedure is only done when the patient has plenty of gum tissue near the tooth.
Gum Grafting Recovery
You can drive yourself home a few minutes after undergoing bone grafting. However, Dr. Chinara Garraway recommends having someone else drive you home since the anesthesia or sedative may not have worn off completely, making it a bit unsafe to drive yourself home. Your dentist will give you aftercare instructions to guide you in caring for your wound while at home recovering.
You may also experience dental pain and discomfort while at home. The pain may be mild or moderate, depending on the type of gum graft you underwent at a dental clinic near you
. Your wound may take about 1-2 weeks to heal. You’ll be put on painkillers and antibiotics and will also receive advice on the right mouth-cleaning products to use to avoid infections or other complications.
Learn More on How Gum Grafting Can Improve Your Oral Health
Gum grafting is a broad topic that is still under research meaning there is so much to learn. Moreover, with dental researchers coming up with new innovative tools and methods to make dental procedures safer and more effective, it’s just a matter of time before a new gum graft procedure is introduced. Visit Blissful Dental Spa – Tallahassee to stay updated and learn more about gum grafting and how to improve your oral health. We also do dental exams and offer dental treatments such as gum grafting using modern dental equipment to ensure our patients get the best dental care services available.