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Gum Grafting for Gum Disease Treatment
A gum graft (also known as a gingival graft or connective tissue graft) is a collective name for periodontal procedures that aim to reinforce the collar of gum tissue around teeth and to cover exposed tooth root surfaces.
Recession is usually related to a genetic characteristic of narrow jawbone and a thin collar of gum tissue but environmental factors can accelerate it. Environmental factors include aggressive brushing, recurrent acidic beverages or acid reflux, grinding or clenching teeth, smoking or smokeless tobacco-use, and/or periodontal disease.
Patients seeking gum grafting in Aurora or Littleton, Colorado place their trust in the talented team at Periodontal Associates.
What Is So Bad About Exposed Root Surfaces?
Exposed roots can be sensitive to cold or be aesthetically unappealing. It also indicates that bone has been lost where the recession has progressed. Root surfaces are softer tooth structure than the crown/cap of the tooth and therefore more susceptible to cavities or erosion.
Why Is Having a Strong Band of Gum Tissue Around Teeth Important?
CT scans (see above) that we use for planning implant therapy have shown us that many people have very thin or absent bone on the front sides of their teeth. A thick band of gum tissue is all that prevents the gums from receding and exposing softer tooth structure.
Most Common Types of Gum Grafting
Our Littleton / Aurora gum grafting team performs this procedure to thicken and strengthen the collar of gum tissue around teeth. A thin layer of tissue is transplanted from the roof of the mouth to the area that needs better tissue. By reinforcing the gum tissue, the chance of further recession and bone loss is lowered.
Connective tissue graft
This procedure is commonly used to cover exposed roots and is especially important for patients who have sensitive, unaesthetic recession, or are prone to cavities. Tissue to thicken the gum tissue can be obtained from the roof of the mouth or from a tissue-bank (acellular dermal matrix allograft: medically processed, donated human tissue). The advantage of the tissue-bank allograft is that there is no need for a donor site from the patient’s palate and more treatment can be done in one procedure. On the other hand, the advantage of using the patient’s own palatal tissue is that the predictability of obtaining an ideal result is greater and it has better longevity.
Major Benefits Associated With Gum Grafting
- Reduced sensitivity to cold or sweet food/drink
- Improved appearance
- Improved gum health, reduced bone loss, and preserving teeth
- Strengthened teeth and gums before orthodontic care/braces
- Reduced risk for cavities
Risks of Delaying Gum Grafting
- You may need two procedures instead of one to correct the recession
- You may not be able to get an ideal result if recession and bone loss progresses
- While tooth-loss from recession alone is rare, it can happen and replacing teeth is usually more costly and involves a longer treatment plan
Pinhole ® Technique or Tunnel Grafting or LANAP ®
As periodontists, our Littleton / Aurora gum grafting experts did three additional years of training beyond dental school in the regenerative techniques of supporting tissues around teeth and implants. Let us know if you have questions about these advertised techniques and we can determine which is the best option for you! Request an appointment
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