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gum grafts

gum grafts provide a healthier and more attractive smile

Gum recession is a common side effect of periodontal disease. However, it can also be a precursor to this uncomfortable condition. Once gum recession begins, it will continue to progress. As the gums continue to separate from the base of your tooth, unhealthy bacteria will develop in between these pockets, as well as expose the root surface of the tooth. A receding gum line not only causes aesthetic issues by creating an asymmetrical smile, but it can also result in dental sensitivity and increase your risk for tooth decay. If left untreated, it may eventually lead to tooth loss. A gum graft will not only protect your teeth and oral health, but it will also improve the appearance of your smile. If your quality of life is impacted by gum disease, our Denver dentists can help.

common causes of gum recession

While gum recession is both a cause and precursor to periodontal disease brought on by poor oral hygiene habits, genetics, or smoking – it can also be caused by:

  • Improper oral hygiene techniques, such as aggressive tooth brushing
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching)
  • Dental misalignment
  • Bite disorders
  • Lip and tongue piercings

types of gums graft procedures

There are three different techniques used to perform gum grafts. The type performed will depend on what your dentist recommends for your specific needs. After your teeth and gums have been thoroughly examined and a treatment plan established, the procedure can begin. A local anesthetic will first be given to numb the gums and surrounding tissues to ensure optimal comfort.

connective-tissue graft

As the most common, this procedure involves removing a small slip of subepithelial connective tissue from either the roof of your mouth or purchasing it from a tissue bank. The harvested tissue will then be carefully positioned and stitched in place over the recessed gums and exposed teeth. As the tissue integrates with surrounding gums, it will promote healthy regeneration and a newly shaped gum line.

free gingival grafts

Much like with a connective tissue graft, an incision will be made in the roof of the mouth to harvest healthy tissue. Tissue can also be purchased directly from a credible tissue bank. This procedure is generally recommended to increase keratinized tissue surrounding the tooth, adding thickness to thinning gums in places outside of the smile zone. Although effective, results may not be as aesthetically pleasing as with a connective-tissue graft.

pedicle graft

This procedure is recommended for patients who still have sufficient gum tissue but are experiencing gum recession. Rather than taking tissue from the palate, a small flap (pedicle) will be made within the gum tissue adjacent to the affected tooth and folded over the area and stitched in place. It is often combined with a connective-tissue graft to provide optimal results for patients who have severe root exposure.

benefits of a gum graft

Once your gums have healed and the graft has successfully integrated with nearby tissues, you will enjoy improved gum health. Other benefits of this periodontal procedure include:

  • Reduced discomfort and dental sensitivity
  • Straighter gum line and more balanced smile
  • Lower risk for advanced periodontal disease
  • Healthier and more attractive smile

contact us

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your gum line and are experiencing dental sensitivity, a gum graft may be recommended to improve the health and appearance of your smile. We invite you to contact our Denver practice by calling (303) 534-2626 or filling out our online form to schedule your consultation.