Serving Our Community Since 2000
Tigard Gum Grafting Services
Preserving Your Teeth & Your Health
If you have receding gums, you should act quickly to resolve the issue through gum grafting. While receding gums may not seem like a major issue on the surface, the process of tissue pulling away from the teeth can cause damage to supporting bone. While gum recession is common and affects 4-12% of adults, it can often go unnoticed until it becomes severe, and can result in tooth loss if left untreated. Our Tigard, OR periodontist is specially trained to treat gums and has years of experience performing gum grafting for patients successfully. Not only does gum grafting improve the health of your gums – it also preserves your smile. Progressive Periodontics, Implants and Laser Therapy is committed to improving the overall health of our patients so they can live their lives without oral concerns for years to come.
Contact us online or by phone at (503) 966-3780 to schedule an appointment with our periodontal staff. We can determine if you require our Tigard gum grafting services and give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
It’s relatively easy to know when you need gum grafting, because you’re often able to see or feel the problem. When your tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession, your teeth can look especially long, and the tops may look darker than the crowns. The phrase “long in the tooth” refers to the fact that gum recession occurs with age, so if your teeth begin to look longer over time, you may have gum recession.
Additionally, gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity. If you experience tooth pain when eating, or if eating hot and cold foods becomes especially intense, you may be in need of gum grafting.
There are several reasons why your gums may be receding. While it’s true that poor oral hygiene can contribute to gum recession, as poor brushing habits leave behind dental plaque and excessive brushing can erode the tissue, people who practice good oral hygiene habits can also be affected.
Common causes include:
- Genetics: Some people have inherited factors that can contribute to gum recession, such as gum thickness and the positioning of their teeth.
- Physical wear of gums from hard bristles: Applying pressure with a toothbrush that has hard bristles can recede the gums over time.
- Misaligned teeth
- Damage from dental treatment
- Lip and tongue piercings, and even dentures, which can rub up against the gums
The Gum Grafting Process
There are three main types of gum tissue grafts, and our periodontist can help you determine which you need depending on your unique situation.
Graft procedures include:
- Free gingival grafts: These grafts involve the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. A small amount of tissue is taken from the roof and then attached to the gum area to cover the tooth roots. This is often performed on people who have thin gums and need additional tissue.
- Connective-tissue grafts: The most common form of grafting, in this method, a flap of skin is cut from the roof of the mouth to remove tissue beneath. The tissue is then stitched to the gum tissue that is exposing the tooth root.
- Pedicle grafts: Tissue needed for the procedure is graft from the gum around the tooth that needs repair. The gum is pulled over to cover the exposed root, then is sewn into place. This method is only used on people who have available gum tissue near the problem tooth.
While gum grafting may seem scary to some, it’s a simple and efficient process that can have a lasting impact on your overall health.
What To Do After a Gum Grafting Procedure?
After a gum grafting procedure, it's important to follow post-operative instructions to ensure proper healing and minimize complications. Here's what to do after a gum grafting procedure:
- Rest & Recovery: Take it easy for the rest of the day after the procedure. Avoid strenuous activities and rest to allow your body to heal.
- Manage Discomfort: Some discomfort and swelling are normal after gum grafting. Take any prescribed or over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by your dentist to manage pain and reduce swelling.
- Dietary Restrictions: Stick to a soft and bland diet for a few days after the procedure. Avoid hot, spicy, and crunchy foods that could irritate the surgical site.
- Oral Hygiene: Follow your dentist's instructions for oral care. You may be advised to avoid brushing the grafted area for a certain period. Rinse your mouth gently with a saltwater solution as recommended.
- Avoid Irritants: Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, as they can hinder the healing process. Additionally, avoid using straws, which can create suction and disrupt the graft.
- Keep the Area Clean: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. Gently brush and floss the non-grafted areas of your mouth, being cautious around the surgical site.
- Follow-Up Appointments: Attend any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist. These appointments allow your dentist to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns.
- Protect the Graft: Be cautious not to touch, disturb, or put pressure on the grafted area with your fingers or tongue.
- Prescribed Medications: If your dentist has prescribed antibiotics or any other medications, be sure to take them as directed.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and support the healing process.
Remember that each individual's gum graft recovery may vary, so it's important to follow your dentist's specific instructions and guidelines. If you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or any unusual symptoms, contact us promptly. Reach out to our Tigard, OR gum graft periodontist to schedule an appointment.
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