When it comes to your smile, your gums play a critical role. Not only do they provide support for your teeth, but they also help to keep them healthy and free from disease. Unfortunately, gums can sometimes be damaged or recede due to various factors, such as periodontal disease, genetics, or even aggressive brushing. If this happens, you may require gum grafting to restore the health and function of your gums.
If your dentist recommends that you undergo a gum grafting procedure, you may wonder why it’s necessary and what to expect. Here’s a look at the truth about gum grafting, including when it’s needed and what you can expect during and after the procedure.
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that involves taking tissue from another area of the mouth and using it to cover exposed roots or to build up receding gums. The goal of gum grafting is to improve the appearance of your smile and to protect your teeth from further damage.
There are several reasons why your dentist may recommend gum grafting, including:
- To cover exposed roots: If your gums have started to recede, it can leave your tooth roots exposed. This can not only lead to sensitive teeth, but it can also make your teeth look longer than they are. Gum grafting can help to cover up exposed roots and improve the appearance of your smile.
- To protect your teeth from further damage: When gum tissue starts to recede, it can leave them vulnerable to further damage. Bacteria can build up in the exposed areas and cause tooth decay or infection. Gum grafting can help to protect your teeth from further damage by covering up the exposed areas.
- To improve the appearance of your smile: If you’re self-conscious about how your teeth look because of exposed roots or receding gums, gum grafting can help improve your smile’s appearance.
Gum Grafting Procedure
Gum grafting is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, so there’s no need to stay in the hospital overnight. In addition, the process itself usually takes less than an hour to complete.
Before the procedure begins, your dentist will numb the area around your teeth with local anaesthesia. Once you’re numb, your dentist will make small incisions in your gums and then gently pull back the gum tissue to expose the roots of your teeth.
Once the roots are exposed, your dentist will take a small piece of gum tissue from another area of your mouth (usually the roof of your mouth) and place it over the exposed roots. The gum tissue will be stitched into place, and then the incisions will be closed with stitches.
After the procedure, you can expect your gums to be sore and tender. Your dentist will prescribe pain relief medication to help you manage any discomfort. It’s also normal for your teeth to be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a few weeks after the procedure.
Your dentist recommends that you eat soft foods for a few days after the procedure and avoid brushing or flossing near the graft site until it has healed. After that, you’ll need to return to your dentist for a follow-up appointment so they can check on the healing process and remove any stitches if necessary.
Read about 5 Ways Gum Lifting can Enhance Your Smile.
Recovery from Gum Grafting Surgery
Most people heal well after gum grafting surgery and experience little to no complications. However, it’s essential to keep an eye on the graft site for any signs of infection, such as redness, discharge or swelling. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to contact your dentist right away.
In most cases, the gum tissue will grow over the exposed roots within a few weeks, and the procedure results will be visible within a few months. However, with proper oral care, the results of gum grafting can last for many years.
It is common to experience soreness and tenderness of gums for a few days after the procedure, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. You may also have some swelling and bruising around your gums, but this should go away within a week.
It’s also normal for your teeth to be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a few weeks after the procedure. Therefore, your dentist recommends that you eat soft foods for a few days after the process and avoid brushing or flossing near the graft site until it has healed.
You’ll need to return to your dentist for a follow-up appointment so they can check on the healing process and remove any stitches if necessary. However, most people report excellent results after gum grafting and are very happy with their smiles.
What to Expect from Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting surgery is a successful and effective way tobeautify your smile and safeguard your teeth from further damage. After a successful gum grafting surgery, you may expect your gum line to be even and aesthetically pleasing.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that the results of any surgical procedure will take some time to become fully apparent. Your gums may be swollen and tender in the immediate aftermath of your surgery. You may also experience some bleeding.
These are all normal side effects and should subside within a week or two. Once your gums have healed, you can expect them to look noticeably fuller and healthier than they did before.
When is Gum Grafting Necessary?
Gum grafting is usually recommended when your gums have started to recede, and your tooth roots are becoming exposed. This can happen for several reasons, including:
- Aggressive brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard can cause your gums to recede.Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can cause the gum tissue to break down. This can lead to exposed tooth roots and, eventually, tooth loss.
- Genetics: Some people are more prone to gum recession due to genetics.
- Smoking: This is a significant risk factor for gum disease and can also contribute to gum recession.
If you have gum recession, it’s essential to treat it as soon as possible. Gum grafting can help to protect your teeth from further damage by covering up the exposed areas. Gum grafting can also help to improve the appearance of your smile if you’re self-conscious about how your teeth look.
If you need gum grafting, speak to the experts at Studio Smiles. Here at Studio Smiles, our experienced team of dentists has performed countless gum grafting procedures and can help you understand why this treatment may be necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Gum grafting is necessary when the gums have receded too far and expose too much of the tooth’s root. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, cavities, and even tooth loss.
The best time for gum grafting is when the gums have not receded too much, and there is still some healthy gum tissue around the teeth. If you wait until the gums have completely receded, performing a successful gum graft may be more difficult or impossible.
Some of the common reasons why your gums may recede are:
- Brushing your teeth too hard
- Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
- Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- Gum disease
- Periodontitis – a severe form of gum disease that can destroy the bone around your teeth and lead to tooth loss.
Gum grafting is not a painful procedure. Many people report that it is a relatively painless experience. The primary sensation you will feel during the process is pressure. However, some people do experience slight discomfort afterwards, but this can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
Most people can return to routine within a few days after the surgery. It is usual for a person to be scared to undergo gum grafting surgery. However, with the proper preparation and knowledge, there is no need to be anxious about the procedure. Also, if an experienced periodontist carries out the procedure, you can be assured that it will be a smooth and successful experience.
The average person takes approximately seven to ten days to recover from a gum grafting surgery. During this time, it is important to eat soft foods and take medication as instructed. It is also essential to avoid using tobacco products, as they can slow the healing process.
In most cases, your dentist will see you for a follow-up appointment about two weeks after your surgery. Patients can return to routine activities such as brushing and flossing their teeth the day after surgery. However, they must avoid strenuous activity for about a week to prevent bleeding and promote healing.
Contact our dentist if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. We will be able to give you specific instructions on what to do and what to expect during your recovery period.
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure involving taking a piece of healthy gum from one area of your mouth and attaching it to the area where gum recession has occurred. Gum grafting is most used to treat gum recession, but it can also improve the appearance of your teeth or your bite.
Most people are candidates for gum grafting, but a few exceptions exist. For example, people who have had previous dental surgery in the area where the gum graft will be placed may not be candidates for gum grafting.
In addition, people who have diabetes or other medical conditions that affect healing may not be candidates for gum grafting. Your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for gum grafting during a consultation.
It is essential to take good care of your gums after a gum grafting surgery. This will help you recover quickly and reduce the risk of infection.
Here are some things that you can do to care for your gums:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
- Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling
- Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed
- Avoid smoking
- Eat soft foods for a few days
- Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully
If you look after your gums well, they should heal within a few weeks. However, if you have any concerns, contact your dentist.