Sometimes, when we perform a comprehensive periodontal exam (CPE), we discover that a patient needs to have grafts. If you need gum grafts, it is usually due to recession. The following information will provide further details.
When Grafts Are Required?
As periodontal professionals, we know that the condition of a patient's gum is an important part of his or her overall oral health. Gums, when healthy, keep the teeth solidly fixed in the jaw and protect a tooth's roots from bacteria and plaque. When the gums recede or pull away from the teeth, grafts are often preformed to preserve the tooth and keep it intact. According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) gum recession is common and affects from 4% to 12% of adults. Because the process is painless and gradual, many patients do not realize they need grafts until the recession reaches an advanced stage.
What Is a Gum Graft?
A gum graft is performed by taking gum tissue from another area and grafting it to the recession site. Usually, one of 3 types of grafts is used. For example, a free gingival graft involves taking a piece of tissue from the palate and affixing it to the affected site. This graft is performed when a thick tissue is required to prevent further recession. A connective tissue graft is harvested from a sub-layer of connective tissue, under the top-most layer of the mouth's roof. We can also take a pedicle graft, or a flap of gingival tissue that sits adjacent to the affected site. After we perform a gum graft, we will give you detailed post-operative care directions. We will also set up an appointment to make sure that the site is healing correctly.
Do you have gum recession? Would you like to know more about gum grafting? If so, give us a call to schedule a comprehensive periodontal exam and consultation.
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