Gingival (Gum) Grafting in Columbus OH
Stoner Periodontics has offices conveniently located in Dublin, New Albany, Springfield, and Chillicothe.
Gingival (gum) tissue is very important for protecting teeth against bacteria and keeping the underlying bone from wearing down. This gummy tissue is what protects the patient’s tooth roots from being exposed to infections of bacteria that could affect the underlying bone as a whole. When this gummy tissue wears down or recedes, the mouth loses this vital protection and can cause a slew of issues down the line.
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Why Should I Take Gum Recession Seriously?
As mentioned above, the gummy tissue above your teeth protects your tooth roots from bacteria and infections that can come from eating. The gums form a barrier and provide a wall of protection from these bacteria to ensure the roots of your teeth stay healthy and strong.
If your gums start to pull back from one of the reasons listed above, you will lose healthy gum tissue. This can cause a patient to become extremely sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks. When the tooth roots become exposed, bacteria is able to reach these areas and infect the foundation of the tooth. This can cause decay, cavities and much more. In a worst-case scenario, the tooth root will infect, and the tooth will loosen from the jaw bone and eventually fall out. This can cause premature tooth loss in adults and aesthetically and functionally affect the smile.
Gingival Graft Procedure
Firstly, a local anesthetic is used on the affected area to numb any pain. The comfort of our patients is at the top of our lists when it comes to any treatment or procedure that can cause some discomfort. A discussion on sedation may be had if the patient becomes nervous or anxious about the procedure. We have plenty of options that can ensure the patient feels relaxed and content.
To replace the lost or receded tissue, a piece of gummy tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from an adjacent area. The new tissue is stitched (sutured) into place to allow it to heal and create a new gum line. This treatment is done to prevent any further gum recession and to cover the root surfaces that may have been exposed.
The procedure generally takes between 30-60 minutes, depending on the area that exposed and needs to be covered. A follow-up appointment may be required to remove the stitches once the graft has healed. The healing time will vary from patient to patient. New blood vessels will form a few hours after the procedure and will help the gum grafting integrate with its new location.
Most of our patients don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure, however, may feel some pressure hours after the procedure. Fortunately, any pain of pressure you may feel after the procedure can be alleviated with over the counter pain relieving medication. The periodontist may also recommend a soft food diet for the coming days to ensure too much pressure isn’t applied with solid foods. The tissue must fully heal after the procedure in order for it to be successful.
Once the tissue has fully healed, it will be more important than ever to ensure the health of your mouth. A good oral hygiene routine is required to ensure the health of your smile and gums alike are up to par. This will prevent any further gum issues from developing.
We recommend every one of our patients to brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. A soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended for brushing to ensure no irritation or pushing of the gums occurs. Flossing is incredibly important to clear off any built-up plaque between teeth that cannot be reached with brushing. Typically, lack of flossing is an issue with gum recession.
We also recommend our patients come in for a full check-up every six months to ensure the health of their smile is not affected by any issues. We can give you a deep cleaning session as well as give you tips on how to keep your teeth clean and bacteria free. In most cases, we can catch underlying issues before they become a problem and we will recommend preventative treatments to repair them.
Although the gingival graft procedure may seem intimidating, it is routinely performed by the Stoner Periodontic Specialists. We are happy to answer any and all questions about gum grafting at our office via phone or email. A successful gingival graft will eliminate any tooth sensitivity, stop the process of gum recession, and aesthetically rejuvenate your smile.