If you have gum disease, you should talk to your dentist about your options for treatment. There are a few periodontal disease treatments that differ based on the severity of your gum disease. Early gum disease is easier to treat than more advanced cases. Sometimes, surgery is needed, and your dentist might recommend you have a gum graft. Here's why a gum graft might be needed and a quick look at how it's done.
Why You Might Need A Gum Graft
Periodontal diseases cause pockets to form along the base of your teeth when the gums pull away. The pockets become filled with infection, so it's necessary to get rid of the infection for your gums to heal. In some cases, your gums might tighten back up. If they don't tighten up because your gums have receded, you might need a gum graft to replace the missing portion of your gums. You might only have one area of your mouth where a tooth needs a graft, but you might need several grafts if you have advanced gum disease.
Where A Graft Is Obtained
Your dentist can discuss where the graft will be obtained based on your needs. Sometimes, the graft can be taken from nearby gum tissue or from the roof of your mouth. Other times, donor gum tissue is better. For instance, if you need several grafts, your dentist might recommend donor tissue so you can have several grafts done at once. If you use tissue taken from the roof of your mouth, you're limited to how many grafts can be taken.
How A Graft Is Used
There are different methods for gum graft surgery. One technique is to use gum tissue from nearby and just pull the flap over and stitch it to the receding gum. To do this, your mouth needs to have enough healthy gum tissue right next to the gum being treated.
Another method is to create a flap in your palate and take tissue from under the flap. Then the flap is closed. The tissue is then stitched to the gum to fill in the area where it has receded.
The third method also takes a graft from the roof of your mouth, but no flap is created first. Instead, a small portion of tissue is cut out and stitched to the receding gum.
What To Expect After The Gum Surgery
Gum surgery can leave you feeling discomfort for several days. However, the pain should be easy to manage with over-the-counter pain medications, and you should be able to go back to work the next day. As your mouth heals, the tissue around your gum fills in so the health of your gums in that area is restored and your gum has a tight fit around your tooth.
If you have gum disease, you don't necessarily need a gum graft to heal. You might need a different periodontal disease treatment such as a bone graft or a laser treatment. Your dentist will recommend the best periodontal disease treatment for your condition and answer any questions you might have about the procedure so you feel comfortable about the choice. Contact a local periodontal disease treatment center, such as Comprehensive Dental Care, to learn more.