Mcdonogh Dental

Gingival Graft

How a Gingival Graft Can Help with Receding Gums

A gingival graft, also known as a gum graft, can be a smart investment to protect your teeth and enhance your smile, especially if your gums have receded over the years. 

Grafts are a safe and predictable way to safeguard your oral health, but some people may not know much about these procedures. Let’s look at what they entail.

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Should I Consider a Gingival Graft?

A gingival graft provides a way to thicken or replace thin or receded gums.  The gums are important to oral health because they protect the teeth from infection and trauma. Furthermore, bacteria that enter through the mouth and slip under the gums can further infect other parts of the body. 

Receding gums can also contribute to local inflammation, bone loss, and cavities. A gingival graft can help prevent these potentially serious health issues.

Receding gums can also make a person’s teeth more sensitive to cold liquids and foods. Many patients seek gingival grafts to alleviate tooth sensitivity so they can enjoy their favorite foods.

Some patients consider a gingival graft as a result of or to prevent periodontal disease, also called gum disease. However, the procedure is also useful for any patient who is simply self-conscious about the esthetics of receding gums. 

What Happens During a Gingival Graft?

Depending on your periodontal needs, you may receive a graft to cover a single tooth or multiple teeth. Your dentist or periodontist (“gum specialist”) will decide where to obtain the tissue for your graft after considering your unique oral health.

First, a  local anesthetic is applied to numb the gums. Your dentist or periodontist will clean and prepare the graft site. Next, the periodontist or dentist will harvest the graft tissue needed to graft to the affected area. Typically, tissue is collected from the roof of your mouth. Your dentist may also reposition a portion of the existing gum tissue over a receded area if there is sufficient gum tissue in your mouth.  Synthetic or donor graft tissue can be used as well.

Lastly, your dentist will stitch the graft tissue into place, where it will integrate and blend with your existing gums.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Gingival Graft?

Follow the post-treatment instructions about brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash to prevent harm to the stitches and graft.

Most patients can return to work following treatment. You will likely need to eat soft foods for a few days. You can manage discomfort with over-the-counter medicine but talk to your dentist if you experience increased discomfort.

Overall, the graft will take about six weeks to heal.

Contact McDonogh Dental Associates to Talk About Getting a Gingival Graft in Owings Mills, Maryland

If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, concerned about the appearance of your smile, or have periodontal problems, our dentists and periodontist, at McDonogh Dental Associates, can help restore your smile.Call today to learn about treatment options!