Treating Gum Recession With Gum Grafting
Gum (gingival) recession is a common dental health concern that affects many patients in the State College, PA area. Caused by periodontal (gum) disease, bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), genetics, and other issues, gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and begin to migrate away from the tooth. This exposes tooth roots, placing these structures at higher risk for damage and changes the appearance of the smile. To treat gum recession, our team is pleased to offer effective gum grafting procedures. Find out more about how these solutions for treating gingival recession can cover exposed root surfaces and help bring health, comfort, and confidence to your smile.
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Are You a Candidate for Gum Grafting?
Gum recession is often a result of periodontal disease, which damages the gums and underlying bone and causes the tissue to detach. But a receding gumline may also be the result of genetics, tobacco use, ill-fitting restorations, oral piercings, and habits, like teeth grinding or clenching. Even over-aggressive toothbrushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush may contribute to gingival recession. You may be a candidate for gum grafting if you have signs or symptoms of receding gums, which include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Exposed roots
- Longer-looking teeth
- Triangle-shaped spaces between teeth
- Discolored tooth structure near the gumline
How Is Gum Grafting Performed?
Gum grafts use healthy gum tissues from another area of your mouth or an outside source to cover exposed roots and return a receded gumline to a healthier level. There are various types of gum grafts that may be used to meet the needs of each individual. During your consultation, our dentists can help you select the type of graft best suited to provide proper coverage for your teeth. These may include:
- Connective-tissue grafts are the most common type used to cover and protect exposed tooth roots. This approach takes tissue from the palate (roof of your mouth) from underneath a flap created on the surface. Special connective tissue is taken from inside the flap and then grafted to your gums.
- Free gingival grafts are similar except that gum tissue is taken directly from the roof of your mouth. These grafts may be ideal for treating especially thin gums.
- Pedicle grafts are performed when an abundance of tissue is present on a nearby tooth. A small flap is made in the tissue and then stretched over the tooth in need to provide effective root coverage.
- Allografts integrate donor gum tissue samples sourced from a tissue bank.
On the day of your procedure, we will numb the treatment areas to allow for a comfortable procedure. Sedation dentistry techniques may also be used during your treatment for further relaxation. When you are ready, we will collect the gum tissue samples and suture them in place to the affected teeth. A protective covering may be placed over the area to help protect your gum grafts as they heal.
Following Your Gum Recession Treatment
You can go home following your grafting procedure but it is a good idea to take it easy for the rest of the day. Our team will go over your aftercare instructions, including what to eat, what to avoid, and how to best care for your teeth and delicate gum tissues during this stage. You may feel some discomfort or pain for a short amount of time after your procedure, which can be minimized with cold packs against the face and over-the-counter pain medication. We will help you schedule a follow-up appointment so our dentists can track your recovery and progress. As your gums heal, the grafted tissues will begin to blend with your existing gumline to create a healthier, seamless result.
Insurance Coverage for Your Care
Some dental insurance plans may offer coverage toward gum grafting procedures to treat gum recession. If you carry dental insurance, our financial coordinator will review your plan and assist you in maximizing your coverage. Advanced Dentistry strives to make quality dental care available to all individuals by offering easy payment options. Talk to our team for information on applying for affordable financing solutions.
Healthy Gums for an Attractive Smile
Advanced Dentistry of Centre County is proud to bring the latest in gum recession care to patients in the State College, PA area. Our dentists are exceptionally skilled at performing gum grafting techniques. If your gums are receding due to advanced periodontal disease or other causes, schedule a consultation at our practice to learn how gum recession treatment can improve the health of your gums and enhance the beauty of your smile.