Tissue Grafting Procedure
Tissue grafting is a procedure periodontists perform to treat receded or thin gums. Gum recession causes exposed roots, which can age a smile and make teeth sensitive. Also, exposed root surfaces are more prone to getting cavities. Whether you wish to enhance your smile by covering exposed root surfaces that make your teeth appear too long, or you no longer want to cringe because the exposed roots are sensitive to hot or cold foods and liquids, soft tissue grafting can help you strengthen your smile.
Why Do Gums Recede?
Gums may recede for a variety of reasons including: aggressive tooth brushing, excessive biting forces and periodontal disease. Prior to treatment your periodontist can help you identify the factors contributing to the problem. Once the root of the problem is controlled, a soft tissue graft (gum graft) is done to cover the exposed roots. The gum graft will also “thicken” the gum in order to provide better protection against future gum recession. The procedure requires the periodontist to take a small piece of gum tissue from your existing tissue (autogenous) or from a donor bank (allograft). This tissue is then transferred to the receded gum area to cover the exposed root(s) and stabilize the teeth.
We perform this procedure using minimally invasive instruments. With these dental tools, your gums do not have to be cut open. Rather the gum tissue is slightly loosened and the gum graft material is slid underneath your existing gum tissue. A few thin sutures are placed for safety and to prevent movement of the graft. These sutures are removed in 3-4 weeks depending on the healing of the tissue graft.
The goals of gum tissue grafting are:
1) To increase the amount of attached gum tissue
2) To increase the thickness of the gum tissue
3) To cover the root surface
Depending on your situation, your periodontist at PerioLife will discuss the best treatment option for you regarding gum grafting and receding gums.