Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
There are many things that cause gum recession, and the slight changes may not be noticeable to the naked eye during brushing. Factors that cause gums to recede back from the teeth, potentially leaving roots exposed, include tobacco use, brushing aggressively, and genetics.
As the gums continue to recede, they leave increasing portions of the tooth exposed to the air and allow bacteria to grow. These changes are gradual and as the teeth and gums are a small area it is often not observed until there is sensitivity to temperature changes. Late detection can lead to severe cases that require gum grafts.
Gum grafting method
For the method that is most often used, a small bit of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and situated over the part of the tooth - or the bone when needed - that is exposed. It is stitched in place, and while it can cause some discomfort like a slight burn from hot foods, there are a few alternative locations for the tissue to be gathered from.
Alternatives to the tissue removed from the roof of the mouth include removing it from an animal such as a pig or a cow, tissue from another person, or more recently from fish, as well as a biologic gel that is created from animals.
There is continuing research from periodontists to find ways to decrease discomfort that are less invasive but have similar results to the original method.
Currently the patient has an option of which one preferable to them, although the size of the graft needed, and other factors may make the palate tissue the best solution.
Caring for and protecting gum graft
Frequently the graft is protected during the first week of healing with a putty-like dressing which is removed at the follow-up appointment to remove any sutures used. When needed, the area the tissue was removed from is covered with resin that dissolves or falls off naturally to reduce any irritation or pain that is present.
Protection also includes a bactericidal mouthwash, avoiding brushing assertively - and not flossing - chewing on the other side of the mouth, and over-the-counter pain killers and ice packs to reduce pain and swelling.
In an additional two weeks there a second follow-up appointment ensures the graft has attached properly, and full healing takes between six to eight weeks with the tissue healing fully around six months after surgery.
Receding gums can cause the teeth and roots to become exposed to both bacteria and temperature changes as well as food particles. This will become painful and can lead to loss of the tooth if it is not corrected so a gum graft may be necessary. By taking tissue from an outside source and covering it the tooth can be saved.
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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.