Why is gum surgery used?
Gum surgery is primarily used for two reasons:
- to graft gum tissue onto areas where the gums have permanently receded due to gum disease
- to remove excess gum tissue in people who have “gummy” smiles, exposing more of the natural tooth surface so the smile appears more balanced
Surgery may also be needed for other types of restorative treatments as well.
What is a gum graft?
A gum graft is a surgical procedure that takes a small piece of your gum tissue from another area of your mouth or from a tissue bank and transplants it in an area where the gum has receded, or pulled back, from the tooth surface. When gum recession is severe, more of lower tooth is exposed to diseases-causing bacteria, increasing the risk of continued disease and tooth loss. Gum grafting helps prevent progression of gum disease.
How can I tell if I need gum grafts?
The best way to determine if you need gum grafts is to have an evaluation for gum disease. Routine dental visits every six months are essential for catching gum disease in its earliest stages when treatment is simplest. But when gum disease progresses, a dental visit can determine if the gums have receded so far that a gum graft is necessary. People who need gum graft surgery often experience symptoms like tooth pain, gum tenderness and significantly increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, not just of food, but of air as well. If you're experiencing sensitivity, if you have swollen, red or bleeding gums, or if your teeth feel sore or loose, schedule an office visit right away so you can be evaluated.