Sometimes when your gums pull away from your teeth as a result of periodontal disease and suturing them back into place is not an option, soft tissue grafts are used to extend your gumline by using healthy tissue to protect exposed teeth.
What Are Soft Tissue Grafts?
A soft tissue graft is a transplant of healthy tissue from other portions of your mouth to address an area suffering from poor health or deterioration. When your gums recede, or pull back from your teeth, if we catch the problem early enough, the results are often reversible. However, for permanent damage, gum grafting offers a viable solution.
For the surgery, we will administer a local anesthetic to the affected area. By removing layers of tissue from healthy portions of your mouth, we can suture the tissue onto the tissue along your gumline to extend the tissue over exposed roots. Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson will complete the gum tissue graft using one of the following methods, depending on your unique circumstances:
- Free gingival graft, a process in which we use a strip of fleshy tissue from your palate, or the roof of your mouth.
- Pedical graft, in which we cut tissue from a healthy gum portion protecting a neighboring tooth. We slide the flap over without completely detaching it.
- Connective tissue graft, somewhat like a free gingival graft, utilizes tissue from the roof of your mouth. However, in this case, our periodontist will gently cut away a flap of tissue, remove deeper tissue beneath the flap, and then stitch the opening back together to heal. We will then rebuild your damaged gum with this connective tissue.
What Are the Benefits?
Through root planing and scaling, the removal of harmful plaque and bacteria may reduce inflammation, allowing gums to return to health. However, when gum recession is excessive, the roots of your teeth become exposed. This may cause sensitivity, and leaves the internal parts of your oral cavity vulnerable to bacterial invasion and disease. To help make your decision to undergo gum grafting easier, consider the benefits:
- Reduce sensitivity from exposed roots
- Improve the aesthetic quality of your teeth and gumline
- Protect teeth from invasive, hard-to-manage plaque buildup
Am I a Good Candidate?
Have you experienced gum tissue damage, particularly along your gumline, as a result of advanced periodontal disease? If you are clear of periodontal infection and existing disease, this simple procedure is well-suited to correcting your gum damage. Gum grafting is also appropriate for patients with healthy teeth who desire an improved gumline appearance for a more beautiful smile.
Seeking treatment or surgery for periodontal disease? Our board-certified periodontists take a compassionate approach to periodontal care, and will spend time getting to know you rather than hurrying out of the exam room. Schedule a visit with our team at Periodontics Associates today to review your treatment options with Dr. Comeaux or Dr. Pearson in our Lafayette office, or with Dr. Comeaux at our Opelousas satellite office. Please contact us if you have any questions.