Perhaps you’ve heard of gingival surgery, also referred to as “gum grafting” for gum recession. This treatment is used for gums that have pulled back significantly from the teeth as a result of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This severe type of gum recession may have not responded to other types of treatment, making gingival surgery necessary. What should you know about gingival surgery for gum recession?
What Exactly Is Gingival Surgery?
Gingival surgery is a treatment for gum disease that involves grafting the gums so that they can heal from the bacteria and infections that caused gum disease, and most importantly, protect and support your teeth as they were meant to do.
Gum grafting is a procedure that many patients with advanced gum disease need in order to have a successful treatment. During this treatment, healthy gum tissue will be taken from one part of your mouth (typically the roof) and attached around the affected tooth or teeth to repair the damage done from the gum recession.
When Should Gingival Surgery Be Considered?
If you have gum disease, your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning procedure to see if this will help your gum disease. During this procedure, your dentist will do what is called root planing and scaling, which is also called periodontal therapy. During periodontal therapy, your dentist will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that are contributing to your gum disease. This is the scaling part; the root planing part helps to smooth your tooth’s root in order to keep the bacteria and plaque from going back beneath the gums. This procedure is meant to allow your mouth to heal from gum disease.
However, if periodontal therapy is unsuccessful and your gums have receded past a certain point, your dentist may suggest gingival surgery. Gingival surgery should only be considered after periodontal therapy has proven ineffective.
What Can Patients Expect During the Procedure?
During the procedure, a piece of healthy gum tissue will be removed from one part of your mouth and be attached to the receding gums of your tooth or teeth. After the procedure, you’ll be allowed to go home with aftercare instructions.
Your oral surgeon will advise you to avoid brushing or flossing the tooth or teeth that received the gum grafts, and you may have a special rinse to help your mouth remain clean while it’s healing. You may also need some over-the- counter pain medications to ease your discomfort of the portion of your mouth from which the graft was taken.
Healing time is different for everyone, but talk with your oral surgeon and be sure to carefully follow his or her instructions. Always seek help if you have questions or concerns! Gingival surgery is considered a safe and effective treatment when it comes to significant gum recession as a result of gum disease. Gum recession often happens slowly, so you may not notice a changed appearance or the symptoms until it’s too late. Regular checkups can help your dentist spot gum disease before gingival surgery is necessary!