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Have No Fear of Gum Grafting

So, your dentist has told you that you need a gum grafting procedure. Whatever that is, it certainly sounds painful and scary. You may not want to go through with it, but gum grafting is an extremely beneficial procedure for those who need it. In fact, gum grafting can literally save your teeth.

What Is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is essentially taking tissue from one area of your gums (usually in the back of the mouth where it cannot be seen) and grafting it onto other areas to correct receding gums. Unlike a receding hairline, receding gums can be extremely dangerous because the more tooth is exposed, the more susceptible your teeth are to bone deterioration, and bone deterioration often means tooth loss. And not just one tooth – often people with receding gums may lose many teeth.

How Is It Done?

There are actually several types of gum grafts – free gingival grafts, pedicle grafts, and connective tissue grafts. Connective tissue grafts are used most frequently and take tissue from under a flap created on the roof of your mouth to help cover the exposed roots of your teeth. Then the flap is stitched closed.

A free gingival graft is identical to a connective tissue graft but does not create the tissue flap. Instead, it takes tissue straight off the roof of the mouth so there is no flap to close.

A pedicle graft is done right underneath the tooth with exposed tissue, pulling the tissue up to cover the exposed tooth roots. It is then sewn into place over the tooth.

Sure, these all sound scary, but believe it or not recovery only takes a week or two, and your comfort level is largely determined by which type of graft you undergo. The pedicle graft is usually the easiest to recover from, while grafts taken from the roof of the mouth are often a bit more painful.

How Do I Avoid a Gum Graft?

Easy! Brush twice a day for at least two minutes at a time, and floss every single day, at least once a day, preferably before bedtime to clear away any food and plaque accumulated throughout the day.

To learn more about oral health or gum grafting, please give Dr. Hill’s office a call at 469-393-2462.

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