Gum Graft Surgery
At Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS, we specialize in gum graft surgery to help combat the harmful effects of gum recession and trauma. If you frequently experience sensitivity to hot and cold, or your teeth have started to look longer, you may need gum graft surgery. A gum graft may be the only way to stop the recession of your gums and prevent further loss of tissue.
Causes of Gum Recession
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of gum recession. This infection is typically the result of poor oral hygiene practices, genetics, systemic illnesses like diabetes, and even hormonal changes. The CDC also reports that smoking and tobacco use can make you four times more likely to develop the disease. If left untreated, the infection will eventually spread to the roots, connective ligaments, and the underlying bone.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, making gum recession a serious diagnosis. Other causes of gum recession include:
Other Treatments for Gum Recession
Gum graft surgery is usually the last line of defense against gum recession and periodontal disease. If you are diagnosed with periodontitis (the second stage of gum disease), we may recommend scaling and root planing. During this procedure, we will remove bacterial plaque and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces.
After a scaling and root planing, your teeth should return to a pink, healthy state. If your gum recession is severe, a scaling and root planing may not be effective. In this case, gum graft surgery is usually the best option.
Gum Graft Procedure
During gum graft surgery, Dr. Thomas Rafferty will take soft connective tissue from another area in your mouth. This tissue is then placed over the recessed areas to stimulate new growth.
There are three major types of gum graft surgery:
We will determine which type of graft is best for you during your initial consultation. In rare instances, donated tissue may also be a viable option. This is usually reserved for patients who do not qualify for a traditional graft.
Once your graft is complete, it should foster the growth of new, healthier gingival tissue. New gum tissue should reduce tooth sensitivity, protect your roots from decay, and stop gum recession and bone loss. One added benefit of gum graft surgery is the improved appearance of your smile!
Preventing Gum Recession
Of course, preventing periodontal disease is the best way to avoid gum recession. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste. Also, floss once a day to remove food debris and bacteria from in between your teeth.
Even with a good oral hygiene routine, regular checkups and professional cleanings are vital. Addressing other issues, such as bruxism and malocclusions, can also be beneficial. Dr. Thomas Rafferty can diagnose and prevent many of these issues during your initial appointment.
Schedule Your Consultation
Gum recession is a serious indicator that you need periodontal treatment. Call (978) 720-9009 to schedule your consultation now!