The gums protect the roots of the teeth. Over time, it is possible that the gums can gradually wear away. If they do recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed, leading to tooth sensitivity. Left untreated, this condition can cause severe damage to the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth; it could even eventually lead to tooth loss. Your dentist at KK Dental offers treatment for gum recession, also called a gingival recession, to prevent the loss of any teeth. One method for doing this is to perform a gum graft.
The gum graft procedure consists of removing tissue from one area of the mouth, usually the palate, and grafting it onto the area of recession. It is also possible to use donor tissue.
Gum recession can go undetected at first because it occurs so gradually. Your dentist at KK Dental will be able to assess the health of the gums during routine exams and determine the need for a gum graft. Gum recession has a number of causes, such as periodontal disease, improper brushing technique (too hard or not enough), heredity, or teeth grinding.
In addition to protecting the teeth, gum grafting has other benefits, such as:
Gum grafting may also produce a more attractive smile if it was previously a “toothy” smile.
Because it involves surgery, the procedure for gum grafting will require local anesthesia to be administered at the graft harvesting site (where the tissue will be taken from the palate). After the tissue has been harvested, it will be placed onto the site of gum recession, and sutures will be used to aid healing.
The procedure usually lasts about an hour and 30 minutes, but two appointments will be needed for its completion – one for the actual surgery and one to have the sutures removed. The second appointment will also allow your dentist at KK Dental to monitor your healing.
The success rate for a gum graft is very high. If you believe you may need a gum graft, you can have confidence that you’ll be in good hands with KK Dental.
While a gum graft adds tissue to a site, a crown lengthening procedure removes it, possibly along with some bone, to expose more of the tooth. This may be done to fit on a crown, bridge, or filling to a tooth that is too short or to reshape a “gummy” smile (where the teeth appear too short).
This procedure also requires anesthesia. Your dentist will make cuts into the gum tissue to pull it away from the teeth. Removing a small amount of tissue may be sufficient to successfully place a crown or filling, but in most cases, both gum tissue and bone will have to be removed. Once this is done, the site will be washed with sterile saltwater, reshaped, and the gums will be stitched together again.
Make an appointment at KK Dental to have your gums examined. Your dentist will make the best recommendation on whether a gum graft or crown lengthening procedure will be needed to best benefit your oral health.