Healthy gum tissue protects your teeth from disease and is cosmetically important to ensure a naturally beautiful smile. Gum tissue loss or ‘Gum recession’ can cause you to have tooth sensitivity, as well as make it harder for you to clean the area. In addition, patients may look older than their age because their teeth appear to be too long (“long in the tooth”). Soft tissue grafts and other root coverage procedures are designed to cover exposed roots, making your smile look younger, decrease the tooth sensitivity and reduce the possibility of root cavities.
When gum tissue recedes due to periodontal disease, it pulls away from the teeth. Periodontal plastic surgery procedures can restore root coverage and dramatically improve your smile. Soft tissue grafts and other root coverage procedures cover exposed roots and restore healthy gum tissue. This will reduce further bone loss and recession, make the toothless sensitive, protect the root from root cavities, make crowns or implants look more natural. This will improve the aesthetics of your smile.
The replacement of missing attached gum is called gingival grafting, gum grafts are designed to cover areas of a recession that will improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile as well as decrease tooth sensitivity. The procedure is very similar to a skin graft. First, a small pouch is created in the tissue next to the tooth being treated. Next, a small piece of gum tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth adjacent to the back teeth, or gently moved over from adjoining areas, and transplanted around the tooth. The “donor” tissue re-attaches and forms a new layer of attached gum, which should last indefinitely with proper care. The roof of the mouth heals quickly, just like a skinned elbow. The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.
Lateral Sliding Graft
Occasionally, root coverage can be obtained by “sliding over“available tissue from a surrounding area. This can be done with or without” a connective tissue graft. This procedure is called a Lateral Sliding Graft.
Alloderm Gingival Grafts
When multiple grafts are necessary or the patient does not wish to have a “donor” site, healthy, highly processed, sterile tissue from a tissue bank can be utilized. This product, Alloderm1 has been used to safely treat burn patients for a number of years. Over 3 million procedures have been performed using Alloderm without any transmission of HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. This tissue is equally successful with that obtained from the roof of the mouth. It is especially useful with children where adequate donor tissue is not available. Alloderm grafts eliminate the secondary surgical site along with its associated discomfort.
Our cosmetic gum surgery patients enjoy being able to smile with confidence again. Some benefits:
Gum grafting allows us to plump and augment gum tissue in an area where the gum has receded away from the tooth, providing a more attractive smile. With gum grafting, We are able to halt gum recession and bone loss, preventing further dental problems by protecting exposed roots from decay.
If only one area of your gum line has receded, gum grafting can make the gums appear more symmetrical and appealing.
After gum grafting, most patients experience reduced tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, giving them more freedom to eat the foods they enjoy most.
1) AlloDerm®, a human tissue derivative manufactured under standards of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. AlloDerm promotes tissue regeneration by teaming up with your body's own regenerative process. This material is as safe to use as your own tissue – no disease transmission has been reported and less surgery is required.