A gingival graft, also called a gum graft, is a periodontal surgical procedure in which gum tissue is grafted from another location in the mouth to cover exposed roots of teeth.
A gingival graft may be done for several reasons, including excessive gum recession. Here’s why your dentist might refer you to a periodontist for a gingival graft to improve your oral health.
Facilitate Healthy Gum Tissue Growth
A gingival graft is used to facilitate healthy gum tissue growth along your gumline where your existing gum tissue may have receded. This procedure is usually done after any applicable treatment for gum disease has been performed, such as a deep cleaning or root planing and scaling.
During the procedure for your gingival graft, your periodontist will take gum tissue from another area in your mouth, such as the roof of your mouth, to cover your exposed tooth roots along the gumline and help you have a healthier, pain-free smile.
Can Help Reduce Sensitivity
A gum graft can be done for one or several teeth to help reduce tooth sensitivity as the result of exposed roots. Once the grafted gum tissue has been reattached and given a chance to heal, your tooth roots will be better protected from the painful sensitivity that typically comes with exposed tooth roots.
If you have severe tooth sensitivity from gum recession, a gum graft might be an essential procedure to help your smile return to normal and prevent pain. Since tooth sensitivity rarely goes away on its own, it’s important to seek treatment before your pain gets worse.
Prevent Further Damage
Your periodontist may suggest a gingival graft in order to stop your gums from receding further if you have receding gums due to periodontal disease. A gum graft may also be used to cover tooth roots in order to prevent them from getting infected or being susceptible to decay.
Patients who receive a gingival graft typically benefit from better gum health and an improved smile after the procedure. Your gum graft will both help your gum tissue heal and prevent further issues. In addition, your gumline will appear more smooth and even, giving you the appearance of a healthier smile!
What Can I Expect?
Before getting a gum graft, your dentist will evaluate your smile and attempt to treat your gum disease without surgery. If your gum disease is caught early, a root planing and scaling (in other words, a deep cleaning) may be all that’s needed to remove the infection and restore your smile back to normal.
However, you may also need to be referred to a periodontist for evaluation for a gingival graft if your gum recession is extensive, painful, and unable to heal on its own. A gingival graft can help your smile feel better and look healthier after recovering from gum disease.
Are you suffering from the pain that comes with tooth sensitivity or seeing a change in your teeth’s appearance? People who suffer from gum recession often begin to see exposed roots or longer-looking teeth. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to restore your smile!