Gum Graft Retraction or recession of the gums is one of the most common oral pathologies which consists of the loss of gum or bone that exposes part of the root of the teeth.
In the most advanced cases, this retraction damages the bone on which the pieces are supported, causing dental mobility.
Due to how gradual this process is, the person is not aware of the problem until the recession is in an advanced stage. That is, when the consequences appear: greater dental sensitivity and the perception at first glance that more teeth are shown than normal.
Gum grafting is the ideal treatment to correct this problem.
Why do the gum graft recede?
There are various causes for receding gums:
- Periodontal disease: both gingivitis and periodontitis develop due to the accumulation of tartar, which ends up causing the loss of dental bone.
- Aggressive brushing: Brushing your teeth aggressively and with brushes with very hard bristles can cause the destruction of the tissue that forms the gum.
- Trauma: receiving a strong blow can cause years not only in the external part of the mouth but also in the internal part.
- Orthodontics: If the position of the teeth within the dental arch is not controlled during treatment, recessions may appear after orthodontic treatment.
- Genetics: there are different biotypes of gum; some are very fine and more susceptible to retraction. On the other hand, others are thicker and it is more difficult for them to retract.
- To smoke: Tobacco can cause gum loss, as it not only blocks the flow of blood but also affects the immune system. As a result, the action of bacteria and the advancement of periodontal disease can occur more easily.
What is a gum graft?
The gum graft consists of removing tissue from a soft area to cover a dental root or implant that has been exposed.
The person responsible for performing this procedure is a periodontist, the dentist specializing in gum health.
Depending on the degree of severity of the recession and the state of the patient’s gums, two different types of graft are distinguished:
- Coronal repositioning flap: part of the gum close to the area to be treated is lifted and a sample is taken from it, with the idea of stretching it and covering the root. In this case, there is no donor area, but it is the gum itself that protects the tooth that has been exposed.
- Take palatal tissue: On some occasions there is not enough mass in the gums to perform the coronal replacement flap. For those cases, the periodontist resorts to taking tissue from the palate. This technique is used more frequently and involves obtaining a tissue sample from the patient’s palate and grafting it into the area to be repaired.
Within the techniques that use tissue extraction, we can distinguish two types of graft:
- Free gum graft: The free gingival graft is taken from the part of the palatal tissue to be placed, in its entirety, in the area to be repaired. This procedure is common in those cases in which the patient needs to increase the thickness and, therefore, the consistency of the gums.
- Connective tissue graft: It consists of the separation and selection of the tissue to protect the damaged area. The rest of the sample taken will be implanted again in its place of origin.
Does the gum graft hurt?
The gum graft is not painful since the dentist applies local anesthesia, which eliminates any discomfort during the procedure.
There are people who suffer from dentophobia or anxiety when they go to the dentist. For your peace of mind, we have
the conscious sedation service, which is indicated to relieve the patient’s stress while the procedure is being carried out.
The duration of the surgery is approximately 60 minutes, whether it is performed using the coronal repositioning flap
technique or by taking palatal tissue.
Once the surgery is finished, stitches are placed that are removed after 1 or 2 weeks, depending on each particular case.
What are the possible complications after gum graft surgery?
When the donor tissue is from the patient himself, there is no possibility of rejection. However, if after surgery there is
excessive movement in the operated area, it is likely that it will be completely necrotic.
It should be noted that, after the procedure, a part of the tissue becomes necrotic. It is normal and should not be cause for alarm. Bruises may also appear in the area or on the neck, as well as inflammation and swelling in the area.
Graft color change is normalfirst whitish, then yellowish, and finally pinkish.
How do I know if I am a candidate for dental implants?
What are the postoperative care of a gum graft?
- Do not rinse the operated area on the day of surgery. The next day, perform salt water rinses 2 times a day for a week. These rinses should not be effusive, but simply let them act on the wound area.
- On the day of surgery,
only soft and cold foods should be eaten.
- If there is bleeding after surgery, it is advisable to place a dry gauze and compress the
area by biting or squeezing with your finger.
- Avoid brushing the area as this can open the stitches.
- Do not pull on your lip to look at the graft, it could cause it to come off.
- Take the medication as directed by the periodontist.
What are the benefits of a gum graft?
- The total or partial recovery of the lost gum.
- Increased thickness of the gum.
- Teeth or implants are protected longer, last longer and are less likely to be lost.
- Reduces dental sensitivity by covering the exposed root.
- Improves the aesthetics of the smile, since the teeth do not look long.
How much does a gum graft cost?
A gum graft at Dr. Daniel Fernández’s clinic costs 6,000 pesos per area.
If you would like to schedule an assessment appointment or would like more information about gum grafting,
do not hesitate to contact us through our different means of contact.
Explanatory note: the information provided in this blog is for informational purposes and
should not be taken as a means of diagnosis or treatment.