Editorial

When Is It Too Late For Gum Grafting?

Although receding gums are common, risk factors include smoking, periodontal disease, and bad oral hygiene. Your dentist may recommend a gum graft surgery to prevent further gum recession.

Unfortunately, receding gums can adversely affect oral health without prompt treatment. This is why it is best to visit your dentist regularly to get treatment early.

What Is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is a procedure for preventing further gum recession. Receding gums affect the teeth, and it occurs when the gums retreat from the teeth. Eventually, the gums retreat so far as to expose the tooth root.

Gum recession can increase tooth sensitivity and affect the smile’s appearance. A periodontist at Dentakay dental clinic performs a gum graft surgery to replace the lost tissue around the teeth.

What Are The Causes Of the Gum Recession?

Plaque buildup is the primary cause of receding gums. Plaque is a bacterial film that forms tartar if left untreated. And unfortunately, tartar affects the gum tissue, causing a recession. Other causes of gum recession include;

  • Smoking
  • Trauma to the gum tissue
  • Teeth misalignment
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Diseases including diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes

What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Recession?

It is best to visit your dentist routinely to catch gum recession before it becomes more visible. Usually, you can only identify gum recession when the problem may not be solvable by only a gum grafting procedure.

Nevertheless, you can still tell you have gum recession if you experience any of the following;

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Increased teeth sensitivity
  • Mouth odor
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain along the gum line

Why Should You Get A Gum Graft?

After noticing the symptoms of receding gums, it is best to get appropriate treatment to reduce teeth sensitivity and improve your smile’s appearance. In addition, a gum graft reduces your risk of cavities by protecting exposed tooth roots.

How Do Dentists Treat Gum Recession?

Your dentist will recommend treatment for your receding gums depending on the condition’s cause. These treatments range from non-surgical to surgical treatments. Some of the treatments for gum recession include;

  • ‚óŹ      Scaling And Root Planing

This treatment is a deep dental cleaning that will remove plaque buildup. During this procedure, your dentist will slightly lift your gums to clean them before closing them. Sometimes, your dentist may place an antibiotic under the gums, preventing gum disease.

  • Orthodontics

Dentists prescribe orthodontics if the cause of your receding gums is a result of tooth misalignment or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatments like braces and clear aligners can gradually shift into their proper position, improving their appearance and reducing the severity of receding gums.

  • Gum Grafting

Your dentist will prescribe a gum graft for severe cases of gum recession. A gum grafting procedure involves harvesting tissue and placing it near the gums. The grafted tissue then encourages your gum growth.

Gum Grafting Procedure

If you experience any of the symptoms discussed earlier, it is ideal for visiting your dentist for an examination. First, your dentist will check how far your gums have receded. Depending on the severity, you may get gum grafting surgery immediately.

During the procedure, your dentist will administer anesthesia to numb you to the pain and make you comfortable during the surgery. Afterwards, your dentist will clean your tooth roots and create a flap in your gums, making room for the graft.

Your dentist can harvest the graft from another part of your body, like the roof of your mouth. This is known as connective tissue graft. If your dentist harvests the graft from the gingiva on another part of your mouth, it is known as a gingival graft.

After harvesting the graft, your dentists will clean it. Afterwards, your dentist will place the graft over your exposed tooth root. Your dentist will then cover both the harvest and recession sites with sutures. These sutures may dissolve, or your dentist may remove them at your subsequent follow-up visit.

When Is It Too Late For Gum Grafting?

Technically, it is never too late for a gum graft surgery. You may only need additional procedures. For instance, extensive damage may result in tooth loss. So, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to replace the missing teeth in addition to the gum graft.

How To Prevent Receding Gums

Preventing receding gums reduces the need for a gum grafting procedure. You can prevent gum recession by;

  • Brushing your teeth gently. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing aggressively can hurt your gums and lead to a recession.
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene will prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
  • If you smoke or consume heavy amounts of alcohol, it is best to stop or limit the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Visit your dentist frequently for routine checkups

How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Gum Graft?

Healing after a gum graft procedure differs for everyone. In addition, getting a gum graft in multiple areas can extend your recovery. However, you can follow these tips to speed up your healing;

  • Take only cold liquids for the first 24 hours after your procedure. It is best to avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol. You should also not drink with a straw.
  • After the first 24 hours, you can consume soft foods. Avoid chewing at the surgical site for two weeks. But do not skip meals. It would be best if you had nourishment for faster recovery.
  • Limit activities and elevate your head when sleeping to reduce swelling. You can also minimize swelling using ice packs.
  • Use all prescribed medications as prescribed by your dentist

Conclusion

Receding gums that need gum graft surgery is already severe. Without prompt treatment, your teeth may fall out. At this stage, you will need more than gum grafting. Visit your dentist for an oral examination if you experience symptoms, including tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, or exposed tooth roots.

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