Receding Gums Treatment
BONE & GUM GRAFTING
Bone and gum tissue should fit closely around your teeth. Problems like infection, untreated cavities, facial trauma or gum disease can cause bone and tissue to break down.
This leaves ‘pockets’ around your teeth and if they aren’t treated, they keep getting deeper. Your risks of infection and bone loss increase and can eventually result in tooth loss and other complications.
When you lose a tooth, the natural stimulation for bone growth created by chewing doesn’t happen anymore and bone loss occurs. This may make you an unsuitable candidate for placement of dental implants because they need the solid anchorage that bone provides. In most cases, it is possible to reverse the damage by using bone and gum grafts.
In many cases, we can use grafts to strengthen and regenerate bone with obvious benefits to your appearance and your health. Bone grafting is usually an outpatient procedure, and we use sedation dentistry to make sure you have a comfortable experience.
We take bone tissue from your own body, such as healthy areas of your jaw or chin, or from a donor source. There are various different grafting procedures and the approach we take will depend on factors such as the degree of bone loss and whether we do the graft after we extract a tooth.
We will make an incision in your gum line below your bottom teeth to expose the bone, and remove a piece, along with the bone marrow. We then expose the area that needs regeneration, place the graft onto it and secure it with titanium screws.
After the procedure, you will receive antibiotics and instructions on how to care for the grafting site. You may experience discomfort for a few days.
When your gums recede enough, the roots of your teeth and nerves are exposed. This causes you discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages. Even breathing in cold air may be uncomfortable. It also affects your appearance as elongated teeth tend to make you look older.
We perform various types of gum grafts, depending upon the nature of your problem. All of them involve putting new gum tissue in the area where your current gum tissue has receded. The new tissue helps to correct the recession.
We need to figure out which procedure is right for you, taking various factors into account, such as the extent of the recession.
We use a pedicle gum graft if your gums have receded but they are otherwise healthy. This procedure involves cutting a flap of tissue and moving it sideways to cover the exposed roots. This type of graft is ideal because the blood vessels stay in place.
If you have thin gum tissue, we may perform a gingival graft. We take a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth and suture it to the area where your gums are thinning. We can perform this at several thinning sites. Over time, your gums thicken and you have less chance of battling with exposed roots in the future.
If large areas need grafting, we will perform a connective tissue graft. We remove tissue from the roof of the mouth which offers a large area, and suture it onto the grafting site.
Besides healing bone loss, bone grafting can also make it possible for you to receive dental implants which require bone at the site for anchorage.
How the Procedure Works
As this is a surgical procedure, we will need to treat any infections in your mouth before we do the gum graft. On the day of your procedure, your mouth is likely to be numb for a while so you should eat ahead of time.
The procedure is done under local anesthesia. We’ll start by preparing the recipient site and then turn to the donor site to harvest the tissue. After placing the tissue, we will suture the site and it can start healing.
Your mouth will be numb for a few hours after the procedure. We’ll give you prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics as a precaution against infection.
We’ll explain how to care for the site and you will have to be careful about eating anything hard for a week or two after the procedure. It can take up to about six months for the tissue to heal completely and settle into its new site.