Gum graft can be used for two reasons-to improve the appearance of one's smile or to protect the teeth from gum recession. The process in which the tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls away from a tooth, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth root is known as gum recession. It is very common among people. At first it appears as a negligible issue and becomes severe over time. People may not notice that their gum is receding day by day. When it become more exposed and look ugly, they realize the issue. Exposed tooth can cause many other issues such as tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gum recession may eventually result in tooth loss. Gum grafting is the treatment meant for people with such issues.
Gum graft procedure can be of different types. It may vary according to the needs of the patient. It may include:
- Pedicle grafts: In this procedure, the grafting is done taking gum around or near the tooth that require treatment. The pedicle or flap will cut away partially and the edge will remain attached. In order to cover the exposed tooth root, the gum will be pulled over or down and will be sewn to the place. People who have plenty of gum tissue near the tooth are only eligible for this procedure.
- Connective-tissue grafts: One of the most common method to treat root exposure is the connective-tissue graft procedure. The flap of the skin is cut at the palate and tissue from under the flap is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root during this procedure. The tissue from under the flap is called subepithelial connective tissue.
- Free gingival grafts: Free gingival grafts are bit similar to that of connective-tissue graft. The procedure involves the use of tissue from the palate. For this procedure, a small amount of tissue will be removed directly from the palate and then attached to the affected gum area. This procedure is used usually in people who have thin gums.
After a thorough check-up, the dentist will be able to suggest you the best kind of treatment to you. The procedure may not require hospital stay overnight. The dentist will give you instructions to follow after the procedure. It may include medication, physical activities and diet. In order to control bacterial attack during the healing period, you may be asked to rinse the mouth with a special mouth rinse. In order to prevent infection, you may have to take medicines during the healing period. You might also be suggested to have soft food after the surgery. The pain and discomfort after the procedure may depend up on the kind of surgery you have under gone. The wound may heal quickly. The surgery may have the complications of a general surgery including inflammation and infection. It may take one or two weeks to heal completely.
If you experience any unusual symptoms such as continuous bleeding, severe pain, bruising and swelling you might have to consult your doctor.