Is Gum Grafting an Invasive Procedure?

Gum Grafting Albuquerque, NM

Anytime there is a gum recession that leaves the roots of the teeth exposed and vulnerable to decay, gum grafting may be necessary. This procedure can also be performed to improve the look of a patient's smile. The gradual nature of receding gums means the condition can often become severe without a person's knowledge. Because gum recession can lead to tooth decay and loss due to the exposure of the more susceptible roots, individuals should not avoid the process of gum grafting. Here are three different types of gum grafting and the details about each procedure.

Grafts using tissue taken off the roof of the patient's mouth

Two of the gum grafting procedures involve repairing receding tissue by using healthy tissue from the roof of the patient's mouth.

Free gingival grafts

In this procedure, the tissue is taken from the surface of the roof of the mouth and attached to the treatment area. This type of graft is usually performed on patients who are not experiencing pain, tooth sensitivity or visual concerns. It is also better to use this procedure in cosmetic cases rather than when there are exposed roots that need covering up. Recovery time for this procedure is one to two weeks, and some levels of discomfort and pain have been reported by patients, according to WebMD. 

Connective-tissue grafts

As the most commonly performed type of gum grafts for root exposure, connective tissue grafts are more invasive. During this procedure, a flap is cut in the skin on the roof of the mouth to reveal the subepithelial connective tissue underneath. Some of this tissue is removed for use as the gum graft, and the flap is stitched back in place. The removed tissue is then stitched to the existing gum tissue around the area where the root is exposed. About as equally uncomfortable and painful as free gingival grafts, recovery time from connective-tissue grafts is still between one and two weeks. In both cases, eating foods that are soft and cool can make things more bearable. 

Grafts using existing gum tissue

Not nearly as invasive as grafts using tissue from the roof of the mouth, this type of graft is also typically much less painful.

Pedicle grafts

In cases where there is sufficient gum tissue in the area surrounding the root exposure, part of the gum can be cut back, stretched and reattached over the exposed root. Due to the non-invasive nature of this type of procedure, there is almost no pain or discomfort afterward, and the typical recovery time is only a couple of days. 

Conclusion

There are three primary types of gum grafts performed. The two that involve removing tissue from the roof of the mouth are slightly invasive, somewhat painful and have a recovery period of one to two weeks. Sometimes there is enough healthy gum tissue around the area of an exposed root that a pedicle graft can be performed. This kind of graft is much less invasive, entails little discomfort and only takes a couple of days for a complete recovery. 

Are you considering gum grafting in the Albuquerque area? Get more information at https://www.roderickgarciadmd.com.

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