Treating Gum Recession with Soft Tissue Grafting
Gum recession occurs when the soft tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, making them appear longer. It can occur as a result of periodontal disease, aggressive brushing, bruxism (teeth grinding), or genetics. At Sandcreek Dental in Idaho Falls, ID, Dr. Mark Tall can add gum tissue during a soft tissue grafting procedure, protecting your teeth roots from exposure and restoring the appearance of your smile.
Who Is a Candidate for Soft Tissue Grafting?
Candidates for soft tissue grafting should either be free of gum disease or taking active prescribed measures to keep advanced gum disease under control. If needed, periodontal treatments will be performed before gum grafting. During an initial consultation at our practice, Dr. Tall can determine if soft tissue grafting is right for you, or perform treatments to restore the health of your gums in preparation for grafting.
Candidates for soft tissue grafting should either be free of gum disease or taking active prescribed measures to keep advanced gum disease under control.
Types of Soft-Tissue Grafting Procedures
There are a few different types of soft tissue grafting procedures that may be recommended based on your needs:
- Free gingival grafts: Patients with naturally thinning gums can benefit significantly from a free gingival graft. This procedure involves removing a strip of tissue from the roof of the mouth and securing it over the recessed area.
- Connective tissue grafts: Similar to a free gingival graft, a connective tissue graft involves removing tissue from the palate. However, in this case, a small flap is created and connective tissue is taken from beneath the surface of the skin. After a small pocket has been made at the placement site, the tissue will be transferred and sutured into place.
- Pedicle grafts: Cases in which patients have substantial healthy tissue near the area of recession can be addressed with a pedicle graft. During this treatment, a flap – or pedicle – incision is created next to the affected tooth. Keeping one edge of the flap attached, Dr. Tall then folds the remaining tissue over and sutures it into place, covering the recessed area.
Following your soft tissue grafting procedure, Dr. Tall will provide you with a comprehensive list of post-surgical instructions. These guidelines should be followed closely to ensure proper healing and a comfortable recovery.
Because soft tissue grafting is a surgical procedure, some discomfort or tenderness is to be expected. These side effects are temporary and can be managed with prescription medications and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. To reduce swelling, cold compresses can be applied to the external jaw in 20-minute increments. It is also advisable to eat a soft food diet for the first week or two.
During the first 48 to 72 hours, patients should avoid strenuous activity, as any elevation in heart rate can lead to increased bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. In addition, avoid brushing or flossing the surgical site until otherwise directed by Dr. Tall.
Most patients can return to work and other routine activities within a day or two. Initial healing is typically complete after about two weeks, with full recovery taking place a few months later.
Schedule a Consultation
With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Tall can restore your oral health and help you feel proud of your smile. To explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation at Sandcreek Dental. Contact us online or call us at (208) 525-4780 to request an appointment.