Gum graft surgery is an oral procedure that involves covering an area of your exposed tooth root where your gums have receded with tissue from another part of your mouth. Here, we’ll discuss what causes gum recession, types of gum grafts, the benefits of gum grafts and how you can avoid gum recession.
What Causes Your Gums to Recede?
Multiple factors can contribute to gum recession, some of which you can prevent and others that you cannot. These include:
- Brushing your teeth improperly or with too much force
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Changes in your hormones
- Diabetes and other illnesses
- Smoking cigarettes and using other nicotine products
What are Gum Grafts?
Gum graft surgery involves taking tissue from another part of your mouth and stitching that tissue over your exposed teeth roots. There are three main types of gum graft surgeries:
- Connective-tissue gum grafts: This is the most commonly used type of gum graft. In this type of surgery, the tissue that will cover your area of gum recession is taken from the roof of your mouth. A sliver of your palate (the roof of your mouth) is cut away, and tissue from the underlying area is taken for the graft.
- Free gingival gum grafts: This method is similar to the connective-tissue graft, but the tissue is taken directly from your palate, rather than from its underlying tissues.
- Pedicle gum grafts: This type of graft takes tissue from the gums next to or near the area that requires a graft.
What are the Benefits of Gum Graft Surgery?
Gum recession causes uneven gum lines, tooth root decay and tooth sensitivity, particularly when it comes to hot and cold liquids and foods. Gum graft surgery serves to remedy these issues. Gum grafts halt gum recession as well as bone loss, protect your roots from decay and reduce your tooth sensitivity.
How Can I Avoid Needing Gum Graft Surgery?
Preventing gum recession is much cheaper and easier for you than treating receding gums. Practice the following dental hygiene methods to prevent tartar buildup and gum disease:
- Schedule regular examinations and cleaning appointments with your dentist. Dental hygiene experts will be the first to spot the signs of tartar and gum disease, and their professional teeth cleaning can remove tartar that your toothbrush cannot.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth and around your gums.
- Properly brush your teeth two times a day thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Try using an antimicrobial mouthwash throughout the day for extra protection against bacteria.
- Be proactive with your dental hygiene, and keep an eye out for any signs of disease like chronic bad breath and swollen, red or bloody gums.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease or gum recession, contact one of the experts at the Dental Specialists of Whistler. We’re proud to provide excellent dental care for the Whistler, BC area, and we’re here to help you and address your specific needs as one of our patients.