Gum Graft Surgery: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?

Gum graft surgery is not a single procedure but a group of procedures performed on your gums. They are done for cosmetic and functional reasons, doing everything from improving your smile to protecting your teeth and roots. Here are some things to know about gum graft surgery.

Why You Should Get a Gum Graft

There are a few reasons you might want to get gum graft surgery. The first reason is cosmetic. If you have the appearance of "long teeth," it is likely due to having only a small amount of gum tissue that covers your teeth. There are some gum graft procedures that pull the gums down over the teeth to provide a better-looking smile.

Another reason to get one of these gum graft procedures is if your roots are exposed due to deterioration of the gum tissue. This can either occur due to aging or from severe tooth decay. If you have noticed that more and more of your teeth are exposed, and even some of your roots can be seen, then it is time to get a gum graft procedure. You need to have enough gum tissue to cover and protect the roots of your teeth to prevent infection and hypersensitivity.

The Three Types of Gum Graft Procedures

Gum graft procedures vary in how they are performed and their main purpose. Here are three  procedures your dentist might recommend:

Connective gum tissue – If your dentist recommends a connective gum tissue graft, it means they are going to remove gum tissue from the roof of your mouth. They cut a flap of skin from the palate, then remove a small amount of gum tissue. They suture the flap closed, then use that gum tissue to create new gum tissue over your teeth. This is usually performed when you have roots that are exposed.

Pedicle – A pedicle gum tissue graft is either used if you have long teeth and want to improve the appearance of your smile, or if some of your roots are exposed. With a pedicle graft, your current gum tissue is pulled down over the teeth. The dentist makes a small incision in the gums, then pulls them down and over the exposed roots or tops of the teeth. It is stitched in this position, which encourages the tissue to grow and eventually remain in the new position.

Gingival – Finally there is the least common procedure, called a gingival graft. The tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth, instead of removing tissue beneath a flap of skin. This is done when you have very thin gums, since the palate tissue is thicker and helps with this problem.

For more information, contact Gentle Breeze Dental or a similar location.