A gingival graft or gum grafting is the procedure whereby tissue is added onto cover the exposed portion of the root to repair a defect and help prevent additional gum recession, bone loss and protects the tooth.
Factors contrituing to gum recession may include
- Aggressive brushing
- Gum Disease
- Gum tissue that is naturally thin
- Previous orthodontic treatments
- Previous tooth loss
Effects of Gum Recession
When gingiva or gum tissue recedes, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance to the gum and tooth. Significant gum recession can also lead to root caries and root gouging.
A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. In addition to the patients own tissue, tissue from a donor bank that has undergone rigorous sterilizaton or synthetic mandbrane materials may be used.
Procedure for Gum Grafting
- First Evaluation and diagnosis
- An oral examination to determine if gum grafting is really warranted
- X-ray(s) may be taken of the tooth to evaluate both the internal aspects of the tooth, the tooth root and bone
- Relevant medical history are recorded. Do ensure that you report to your dentist any problems with any previous dental experience such as bleeding problems, medical conditions or allergies to medicationsand supplements
- Site tooth preparation
- Local anesthetize is given to "numb up" the tooth, jawbone and surrounding gums
- Gum Grafting is done
- Gum tissue is loosened to make room for the graft
- The gum grafting material is then inserted and placed on
- Stitch up to close surgical site
- Instructions on post care directions given
Step 1 & 2
Gum Graftng Preparation
Gum is loosen and gum material placed in
Care of Gum Grafts
Bleeding should stop within 15-30 min. after operation and may take longer in some case. Patient may slowly sip cold water to help the bleeding stop faster.You may follow your regular daily activities, avoiding excessive exertion typed of activities such as exercising or sunbathing.
Postcare Instructions after Gum Grafting
- Do not use mouthwash for six hours after oral surgery
- If mild bleeding occurs, hold cold salt water in the mouth until it warms to body temperature
- Do not rinse for 12 hours
- After 12 hours you may rinse with a solution of teaspoonful of salt in a glass of warm water. Antiseptic mouthwash is also recommended to use in the morning and before bedtime
- Coe-Pack or periodontal dressing is a material of choice which may be used in some operation. This can be removed three days after the surgery by gently peel the rim of the dressing and the white patch can be removed using moist cotton pellet or gauze.
- Brush your teeth as usual, but do not brush the wound
- Take only soft, non-spicy and cold foods, if possible, for 2- 3 days
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Avoid swelling by sleep on the thick pillow during night time.
- Mild pain can be controlled with pain relieve medications as directed by your dentist
- Complete taking the course of your prescribed antibiotic medication as directed.
- Non-absorbed suture should be removed within 7-10 days after the surgery.
- Contact the clinic immediately if:
- Excessive bleeding other than slight staining occurs.
- Severe pain is present.
- Marked swelling occur.
- suspect any symptons of allergic reaction.
Related Information to Gum Treatment
Goto section on Gum Treatments