When Is It Too Late for Gum Grafting?

Gum recession is a common dental issue, but luckily, there are ways to treat and even reverse it. When gums shrink significantly, dentists often recommend a procedure called gum grafting. This grafting is very effective, but it works best if done before the problem gets too severe.

In this blog, we’ll discuss gum grafting and how it can restore your mouth to health. We’ll also discuss the best timing for this procedure and when it might be too late.

What is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is a special kind of dental surgery that fixes gums that have shrunk back. Periodontists, who are gum experts, perform this procedure to improve your oral health. There are different ways to do gum grafting, each with its own pros and cons.

Let’s examine the different types of gum grafting and how they can help you get your healthy smile back.

Types of Gum Grafts and Procedures

These are the most common types of gum grafting procedures:

  • Connective Tissue Graft: This one uses a tiny piece of tissue taken from under the roof of your mouth. The dentist stitches this tissue onto your gums to cover exposed roots and strengthen them.
  • Free Gingival Graft: This is similar to the first option, but instead of taking tissue from under the roof of your mouth, the dentist uses a small piece of tissue from the top part. This is good for people who naturally have thin gums.
  • Pedicle Graft: In this type of gum graft, your dentist borrows tissue from healthy gum tissue right next to the problem area. The dentist keeps part of the tissue connected to its blood supply and swings it over to cover the exposed root.

No matter which type of graft you get, your periodontist will perform the surgery to ensure a smooth recovery.

The Gum Grafting Procedure

Here’s what you can expect during a gum grafting procedure:

  • Your periodontist will numb your mouth.
  • They’ll take a small bit of tissue from the roof of your mouth.
  • They’ll stitch the tissue onto the area where your gums have shrunk back.
  • The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is relatively painless.

Gum grafting is a simple surgery that may greatly enhance the health and look of your smile.

When is It Too Late to Have Gum Grafting Performed?

The earlier you catch gum disease; the better chance you have of fully restoring your gums with a gum graft. That is because, in the early stages, there’s usually minimal damage and only slight bone loss.

However, if your gum disease has been going on for a while, the damage might be too expensive. This means a lot of gum tissue and bone might be lost, and this is when it becomes too late for bone grafting.

In these cases, a gum graft might not be strong enough to fix everything on its own. You might need dental implants to replace any teeth that have become loose or fallen out due to severe bone loss. Dental implants are like artificial tooth roots that get surgically placed in your jawbone. Then, a replacement tooth is attached to the top.

Key Takeaways

Gum grafts are more successful when done during the early stages of gum recession. Delaying the treatment makes gum recession worse and harder to treat.

For more information about gum grafting or other periodontal treatments, contact Rock Creek Oral Surgery Specialists at (832) 930-7801.


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