Soft Tissue Grafting
Gum tissue grafting may sound scary, but it's a standard procedure that we use at Pacific Modern Dentistry to treat patients who suffer from different diseases that affect the soft tissue in the mouth.
When is Soft Tissue Grafting Necessary?
Soft tissue grafting or gum tissue grafting is usually recommended for patients who have receding gums to protect the integrity of the roots. This surgery can also be used to improve the look of gummy smiles, where only a small part of the crown shows.
Why Does Gum Recession Happen?
Gum recession happens when the gum tissue that holds your teeth tightly in place begins to pull away because of disease or other conditions. The most common reason for gum recession is periodontal disease, which affects up to 12 percent of adults in the United States.
You could have no symptoms until the receding gums are in its advanced stages, and many people don't even realize they have a problem. One of the first signs of receding gums is tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Sensitivity happens because part of the root has become exposed.
Gum recession that is not treated can result in tooth loss. If periodontal disease is the cause of the recession, plaque accumulation will eventually make all the gum tissue pull away from the teeth and create pockets of infection in the gums. The teeth become loose and eventually fall out. Receding gums can also be genetic.
Types of Gum Tissue Grafts
Before moving forward with the soft tissue grafting, we spend much time explaining the procedure and deciding which type of grafting will work better for you.
Soft Tissue Grafting Recovery
Soft tissue grafting is an outpatient surgery done under local anesthesia for most patients. This means you can go home and start the recovery process. If we put you to sleep, you will need a responsible adult to drive you back and forth.
We will send you home with specific instructions about your care. We may also prescribe an antibiotic as a precaution, or you can take over-the-counter pain medications as directed. Using an ice pack to reduce swelling will help you heal faster. You should also refrain from any strenuous physical activity for a couple of days after the surgery. Stocking up on soft diet items like pudding, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream is a good idea. Depending on how extensive your surgery was, the recovery may take longer, but you should start feeling better after the first two days.
If you have other questions about soft tissue grafting call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206) 607-9822.