Dr. Stacy Moffenbier is a periodontist who treats receding gums. Receding gums are often the result of over aggressive brushing and bruxism. It can affect one tooth or many teeth. In fact, many patients do not notice they have receding gums until later on when the teeth become symptomatic. This includes inflammation of the tissues, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and “long” teeth. It is important to treat receding gums because, in addition to aesthetic concerns, the condition can affect the overall health of your teeth. Gum tissue is the only protection that your teeth have from bacteria. When that barrier begins to recede, your teeth and the surrounding tissue become susceptible to bacteria, decay, and gum disease. In extreme cases, tooth loss can also occur.
Gum grafting is the name used to describe the procedure in which receding gums are repaired. It involves taking tissue from a donor area and attaching it to the gum line. Without gum grafting, your gum line will continue to recede and the problem will only get worse. There are three main types of gum grafting:
• Connective Tissue Grafts – This is the most common form of gum grafting. A flap of skin is cut from the roof of the mouth and tissue is removed from underneath the flap. The tissue is then sewn to the gums and, over time, the two become attached.
• Free Gingival Grafts – Instead of cutting a flap of skin, tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and attached to the gum line. This type of gum grafting is reserved for patients with naturally thin gums.
• Pedicle Grafts – In this type of gum grafting, tissue is taken directly from the gum line. First, we cut a flap of skin from the gums and pull it upward to cover a larger portion of the tooth. Then we stitch it in place and allow time for healing. This form of gum grafting is used on patients who have not experienced significant tissue loss.
It is important to fix receding gums as soon as possible before further damage can be done to the tooth. Gum grafting is a relatively simple procedure that causes only minor discomfort. Patients are often fully healed after only two weeks time. To learn more about gum grafting, contact Dr. Stacy Moffenbier to schedule a consultation today.