One of the many problems that accompanies periodontal disease is gum recession. When this condition occurs, the gums recede with or without the bone, exposing the underlying root.
Some patients may have naturally less or thinner gums thanks to genetics. This can increase the risk of gum recession.
In a properly proportioned smile, the balance between the gums and the teeth provides the ideal aesthetic. When either the gums or the teeth are too prominent, it throws the smile’s appearance astray.
Fortunately, a gum graft can address the issue of receding or undersized gums. This procedure draws donor tissue from elsewhere in the mouth or from a tissue bank and places it in the area where the gum tissue is insufficient or has receded. The patients own donor tissue may be obtained from the palate or from gum tissue adjacent to the graft site.
A periodontist may use a gum graft as part of an overall treatment plan for periodontal disease. This procedure can help protect a tooth’s root and the underlying jawbone from further insult by the bacteria that cause gum disease. When the root is exposed, it is also more vulnerable to decay and can be more sensitive to significant temperature changes.
A gum graft may also be performed for solely aesthetic reasons if a patient merely wants to improve the smile’s appearance. In addition to boosting undersized gums, the gum graft can also be used in certain spots to even out the gumline.
If you do get a gum graft to treat periodontal disease, it’s important to follow up on the aftercare recommendations provided by the periodontist. Eat soft foods and apply heat and cold as suggested to keep swelling to a minimum. Also, patients should avoid smoking as they recover from the procedure.
The periodontist will also give patients instructions on how to care for their teeth and gums after the surgery. When patients follow this routine closely, they’ll reduce their risk of a recurrence of gum disease and the need for another gum graft.
Contact the office of Drs. Edward Gottesman and Susan Karabin, serving New York City, to learn more and to schedule your professional consultation today.