Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
A gum graft is used when the gums are receding from the teeth, are sensitive, and there may be some bleeding of the gums. To correct this concern a graft may be performed by a periodontist that involves replacing the receding gums with a graft.
What a periodontist does
A periodontist is a specialized dentist that works specifically with the gums and health concerns that directly affect the gums. To complete a graft the periodontist will take tissue from another area of the mouth where it is healthy, often the roof of the mouth, and place it in the area of the receding gums.
It is time for a gum graft when the teeth are becoming increasingly exposed, especially when the root is exposed or close to being exposed. Receding gums place the teeth at risk of increased decay and can lead to tooth loss.
Receding gums are more likely to occur when gum disease is present. This can occur because teeth are brushed too aggressively, which forces the gums back when they are not brushed properly to keep down buildup.
Other things that can cause gum disease include a piercing located in the lip or tongue, smoking, or just naturally according to genetics or aging.
Preparing for a gum graft
When preparing for a gum graft there are three main procedures that can occur including a gingival graft using the tissue that is removed from the roof of the mouth, a pedicle graft where the tissue is taken from a place close to the receding gum, and a connective tissue graft where the connective tissue rather than the skin is removed from the roof of the mouth and the flap of skin is then replaced.
The periodontist will assess the receding gums as well as the surrounding areas and decide the best graft for the situation. The cost of the graft will vary depending on the extent of tissue needed and if a donor will be required.
Gum graft procedure
During the procedure the patient is sedated to avoid any pain or discomfort. The harvesting of the tissue is completed then attached to the area where it is required. The healing process can take up to a year, but will begin quickly after the procedure.
It is expected that people will feel better within two weeks, but the healing process continues well beyond that. Completing the graft as an outpatient procedure means that you can return home after the procedure and recover there.
Gum graft recovery
For recovery is necessary to have only soft foods such as oatmeal and mashed potatoes, avocado and eggs, and to treat the area gently without disturbing it. The area of the graft should not be brushed during healing, and instead a mouthwash is used to stave off infection and remove buildup on the teeth.
A cold compress is used when swelling occurs, and spicy or hot foods should be avoided until the graft has healed. Many physical activities should be avoided during the healing. If there appears to be a color difference in the gums in that area it should begin to match the natural gums in a few weeks.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.