If Dr. DeAndrade observes excessive receding of your gums, he may recommend a procedure called connective tissue grafting (gum grafts). Simply put, tissue is taken from the upper palate area and grafted to the area where the gums have receded to the point of requiring treatment.
Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors and before performing the graft, Dr. DeAndrade will determine what is causing the problem and treat it if necessary. Excessive tooth brushing, periodontitis, trauma and naturally thin gums are common triggers of this condition. Not only does it change the appearance of your mouth, the exposed roots are vulnerable to bacterial infection as well as hot and cold sensitivity.
The first step of connective tissue grafting involves a trapdoor-like incision being made on the roof of the mouth, allowing subepithelial connective tissue to be harvested. This tissue is then attached by sutures to the gum area around the affected tooth or teeth.
Following the surgery, there will be some discomfort from the wounds at both sites. Patients describe the sensation on the roof of their mouth as being similar to a pizza burn. This can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relief medication. You should avoid brushing and flossing around the graft site for the first two weeks and rinse with a special periodontal solution instead. To allow for complete healing of the donor and graft sites, you should also follow a diet of soft foods for the first two to three weeks. In some cases, you may need an additional procedure called gingivoplasty to reshape the new tissue so that it follows your natural gum line,
Although it may sound complicated, connective tissue grafting is a simple and commonly performed procedure to reverse the effects of receding gums. Dr. DeAndrade and the staff of Anthem Periodontics are here to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Call for an appointment today.