Protecting Your Teeth From Gum Recession
What Is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting is a type of oral surgery that reinforces areas of the gum tissue that have receded, leaving dental roots exposed. Gum recession affects 4 to 12 percent of adults and may go unnoticed until it becomes severe because it is such a gradual process. The exposed roots aren’t just unsightly, they’re also sensitive and vulnerable to decay. Gum grafting gives those teeth back the protection they need.
How Does Gum Grafting Work?
There are three different ways a gum graft procedure can work, and Dr. O’Donald will determine the right one for you.
- Connective-tissue grafts. Most often, this type is the one used to treat gum recession. A piece of tissue is taken from beneath the skin on the roof of the mouth and stitched into the gum tissue over the exposed dental roots.
- Free gingival grafts. These are similar to connective-tissue grafts, but they take the tissue directly from the roof of the mouth without making a flap in the skin first. This option is preferred for patients who already have thin gum tissue and need the additional tissue to enlarge it.
- Pedicle grafts. If the patient has plenty of gum tissue near the exposed root, then they may not need any tissue from the roof of the mouth. Instead, a small flap can be made in the nearby gum tissue so that it can be pulled down or over to cover the exposed root before being sewn into its new position.
How Can O’Donald Help?
If you’ve noticed yourself becoming “long in the tooth,” it might be time to discuss gum grafts. Call 616-754-7414 or email us to schedule an appointment. Dr. O’Donald will examine your gums and determine whether gum grafting can give you back that healthy smile!