Gum Grafting Can Help Treat Advanced Periodontal Disease

Soft-tissue grafting aims to improve gum health and comfort for patients suffering from gum recession, a condition that is typically the result of advanced periodontal disease. The procedure can not only help restore your oral health, but can also rejuvenate your smile. Dr. Teddi Olszewski can evaluate your periodontal, or gum, health at our Northampton, MA, dental office to determine if a gum grafting procedure is needed. If you have been struggling with periodontal disease, Dr. Olszewski can first perform a scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) procedure. If this procedure cannot adequately address your needs, she can refer you to a trusted specialist for a gum graft.

Benefits of Soft-Tissue Grafts

As periodontal disease progresses, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Over time, these pockets deepen and the gums begin to recede. This exposes your more vulnerable tooth roots to bacteria, which leads to decay. When this happens, you may also experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.

A soft-tissue graft can restore your gums to a more natural position, concealing and protecting the tooth roots. This can improve your overall gum health and guard against tooth and bone loss. These grafts also eliminate dental sensitivity, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods again. Finally, because our tooth roots are yellow in color, their exposure can create a less attractive smile. With soft-tissue grafts, the gum line is restored so you can feel confident about your smile again.

Gum grafting can not only help restore your oral health, but can also rejuvenate your smile

Gum Grafting Techniques

There are three different gum grafting techniques a dentist may use when performing a soft-tissue graft:

  1. Free Gingival Graft: This technique involves the removal of a strip of tissue from the roof of the mouth. This tissue, or graft, is then sutured in place over the graft site. Free gingival grafts are most commonly used to thicken the gum tissue.
  2. Connective Tissue Graft: A connective tissue graft works similarly to the free gingival graft. First, the dentist creates a pouch in the gums. Then, after removing a strip of tissue from the roof of your mouth, that tissue is placed within the pouch, which is then sutured closed.
  3. Pedicle Graft: Pedicle grafts are unlike the first two techniques. Rather than taking tissue from the roof of the mouth, a pedicle graft uses adjacent gum tissue. The gum tissue remains connected to the nerves and blood vessels, but is stretched to cover the exposed roots.

What to Expect during the Procedure

If you have large deposits of plaque and tartar that have resulted in periodontal disease, Dr. Olszewski may recommend a deep cleaning prior to undergoing gum grafting. Then, she will refer you to a specialist who can perform the soft-tissue graft. After administering anesthetic and sedation, the doctor will create an incision along the receded gum line. The donor tissue is placed over the tooth roots, and is sutured in place. The donor site is also closed with sutures.

Gum Grafting and Your Periodontal Health

Whether you are suffering from gum disease alone or you have multiple complications and are in need of a full mouth reconstruction, Dr. Olszewski can help you receive the treatment you need to restore your periodontal health. Call Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (413) 584-2902 or contact our office online to schedule a consultation.

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