Soft Tissue Grafting

Soft Tissue Grafting

The soft tissue of your gums should fit smoothly and snugly against your teeth, anchoring them in place. However, sometimes gums will begin to recede, or pull away from teeth creating pockets and exposing more of the tooth. In severe cases, the root of the tooth will be exposed, causing sensitivity and risk of decay or tooth loss. Fortunately, there are several techniques used to encourage new gum growth and reattachment. The leading treatment in our office is soft tissue grafting.

Reasons Gums Will Recede

Facts About Gum Disease

Periodontal infection, or gum disease, is the most common cause for a receding gum line. It occurs when bacterial plaque and calculus infect the gum and tooth root. In minor cases, you will experience inflammation, swelling and maybe some slight bleeding. As the infection progresses; however, the symptoms will worsen. Gums will pull away from the teeth and roots, bone loss can occur in the jaw, and teeth will begin to loosen or fall out. This is why treatment is imperative and soft tissue grafting may be a part of that.

Soft Tissue Grafting Procedure

First, all bacteria and infection must be completely removed. We accomplish this in two ways: Periolase laser surgery and conventional gum surgery. If gum disease is severe enough, then more soft tissue will need to be removed and replaced, making the need for soft tissue grafting. In other cases, soft tissue grafting is used to enhance a smile or repair damaged caused by trauma. Three types of soft tissue grafting are used to treat root exposure, help gums remain healthy and keep your teeth where they belong.

Free Gingival Graft

The first is free gingival grafts where a small strip of tissue is removed from your palate. This graft is sutured to the area being treated. This method is commonly used for people who have naturally thin gums.

Connective Tissue Graft

For this type of gum surgery some tissue is cut from the roof of the mouth in the shape of a trap door. Then the graft is removed from under the trap door. The flap is replaced and the graft tissue is used to surround an exposed tooth root.

Pedicle Graft

The third and final type of soft tissue grafting is pedicle grafting. This involves using a flap of tissue from the gum of a neighboring tooth. The flap is cut away with one piece remaining attached. The flap is opened to cover the exposed tooth root and sutured in place. This form of grafting heals more quickly and is the method of choice when circumstances allow.

Benefits of Soft Tissue Grafting

Take a good look at your gums. Do they look healthy and tight or are they beginning to recede? Are they inflamed, bleeding or pulling away from your teeth? Or are they simply uneven, making your smile a bit lack luster? If so, it may be time to contact our office about soft tissue grafting.

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