Gum Graft


A patient smiling while receiving a gum graft consultation at Keith A. Boenning, DDS in Towson, MDThe smile is the first thing that many people notice. When you think about the perfect smile, what comes to mind? Most people tend to focus on the teeth. While your teeth are an integral component, your gums are also quite important. Gum recession is a serious issue that impacts the quality of your smile and your oral health. Keith A. Boenning, DDS can restore both, improving your confidence and your quality of life, with a gum graft.

The Roles of your Gum Tissue


Your gums play a very important role in the quality of your smile. This tissue is also very important for your oral health. The gums sit snugly against your teeth, providing a protective seal that prevents bacteria from traveling below the gum line where they can affect the roots of your teeth and the condition of your jawbone. The tissue protects your roots from sensitivity. The gums also help to provide additional stability for your teeth. When you suffer gum recession, your otherwise perfect teeth appear long, which can cause serious aesthetic issues. It can also significantly affect your oral health, increasing your risk for tooth decay, bone loss, loose teeth, and tooth loss.

What Causes Gum Recession?


Gum recession can be caused by many different issues. These include
•  Gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Your gums become irritated and swollen and pull away from your teeth. Bacteria travel below the gum line, causing pockets to grow deeper and deeper. In the process, infected tissue dies off, causing recession.
•  Aggressive toothbrushing. Your gums are sensitive. Brushing too hard can wear your gums away.
•  Bruxism. The excessive pressure from grinding and clenching puts pressure on your gums, which eventually causes the tissue to wear.
•  Tobacco use. Tobacco products deprive your gums of oxygen and essential nutrients, and prevents your body from effectively fighting off infections.

What is a Gum Graft?


A gum graft is a surgical procedure that is performed to restore a natural, healthy gum line following gum recession. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be provided to ensure your optimal comfort. Gum grafting involves taking tissue from another area of your mouth, typically the roof of your mouth, and transplanting it over the affected teeth.

In some cases, donor tissue may be used. After harvesting the necessary tissue from the donor site, the tissue is sutured into place over your teeth. As you heal, the tissues fuse, restoring your natural gum line, improving both the quality of your smile and the health of your mouth.

Types of Gum Grafts


There are a few different types of gum grafts that may be performed. During your initial consultation, we closely examine your mouth to determine the best graft to meet your needs. Types of gum grafts include
•  Connective tissue. A connective tissue graft is one that uses tissue taken from the roof of your mouth. The tissue is harvested out from under a small flap created in the palate and is used when root coverage is needed.
•  Free gingival. A free gingival graft is one that uses tissue taken directly from the roof of your mouth. Although it leaves a larger, open wound in your mouth, it is often used when keratinized tissue is necessary.
•  Pedicle. A pedicle graft is one that uses surrounding gum tissue. Incisions in the gums allow us to rearrange existing gum tissue to provide optimal coverage. With this type of graft, blood vessels are left intact, which can aid in speeding up recovery.

A gum graft is an effective treatment for improving the quality of your smile and your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Keith A. Boenning, DDS at (410) 828-1717 today.
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