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Soft tissue (gum) grafting


Gum grafting is a name for periodontal procedures dedicated to strengthening certain areas of the gums in order to cover up an exposed tooth root surface. These exposed roots could be the result of gum recession due to gum disease, bite overload, or poorly positioned teeth. This procedure is quite common, and while the name might sound scary, it is performed routinely and provides for excellent results.
Gum Grafting at Phillip Roe, DDS, MS's office in Edmonds, WA

Types of Grafts

There are several different types of gum grafts available if this is the treatment option that you need to pursue, and your periodontist will help you to choose the right option:
•  Connective tissue grafts. This is the most common grafting procedure, and it takes tissue form the roof of your mouth before stitching it over the exposed root.
•  Free gingival graft. Similar to the connective tissue grafts, this option involves taking tissue directly from the palate.
•  Pedicle graft. This option uses tissue found next to the tooth that needs a repair in order to perform the graft.

Benefits of Gum Grafting

There are a few great benefits associated with gum grafting:
•  Improved appearance of your smile. Root exposure and receding gums can make your teeth look longer than normal, giving you a "toothy" grin. Grafting can improve this issue, making your smile look more symmetrical.
•  Better oral health. Gum disease can destroy your gum tissue quite quickly, but grafting can halt bone and tissue loss. This can prevent against future problems.
•  Reduced sensitivity. When the roots of the teeth are exposed, it can be pretty painful to drink or eat foods that are especially hot or cold. Grafting can cover the exposed root permanently, helping with your discomfort.

What Happens during the Procedure

During your grafting procedure, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to help with your discomfort. Then, a tiny incision will be made at the site of the graft, creating a small tunnel to accommodate the new gum tissue. The gum tissue will be sutured into place so that it won’t shift, and the healing process will take about six weeks to complete.
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