If gum disease has caused your gum tissue to recede or become damaged, our dentists may recommend that you receive a soft tissue graft to help repair the health and appearance of your smile. At Dental Specialists of Weston, Dr. Llavona and Dr. Oliver work with their team to ensure that you remain comfortable and safe throughout your treatment, so you can rest assured that you are being treated right while your smile receives the care it needs. To learn whether you need a soft tissue graft in Weston, Florida, we invite you to contact our practice at 954-349-4993 and set up a consultation with our dentists.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at Your Gums
Your gums play an important role in your oral and overall health. Not only do they help keep your teeth in place and protect your dental roots, but they also help you maintain optimum systemic health throughout your body. If, however, your gums do not receive proper or consistent care, harmful bacteria and plaque can begin to build up around the gum line and beneath the surface. This is the beginning stages of gum disease.
A common sign of gum disease is gum recession. This is characterized by the gum tissue around the teeth being pulled away from the tooth, which causes more of the tooth or even the roots to become exposed. If receding gums are not treated, it becomes easy for bacteria to go deeper beneath the gum line and attack the supporting bone structures. In many cases, gum recession is gradual, and many people do not notice it until it becomes a problem. At our practice, however, our dentists and team can perform regular exams to check your gum line and catch gum recession early on.
Soft Tissue Grafts Can Treat Receding Gums
If your gum recession has become more severe, our dentists may recommend a soft tissue graft. Prior to your treatment, we will examine your mouth to determine which type of gum graft will best fit your needs and give you the results you are looking for. The most common types of gum grafts include:
- Connective tissue grafts are the most common type of gum graft. For this procedure, we will make a small incision in the roof of your mouth and pull back the flap of skin. We will then remove a small amount of the tissue from under the flap. This tissue, called subepithelial connective tissue, is then stitched to the receding gum line and around any exposed dental roots. After the graft is complete, we will stitch up the flap on the roof of your mouth.
- Free gingival grafts are similar to connective tissue grafts. However, instead of removing the connective tissue from beneath the flap in the roof of your mouth, or palate, we simply remove a small amount of tissue directly from the palate. This tissue is then grafted to the gum line. This type of graft is often recommended for those who have thin gums to start off with and need to thicken their gum tissue.
- Pedicle grafts take tissue from your gum tissue around or near the receding gums. During this procedure, our dentists will make a small incision to create a flap in the gum tissue. The flap, known as a pedicle, is then stretched and pulled over the receding gums, then sewed in place. This procedure is best for those who have a good amount of healthy gums around the receding gums.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Depending on your personal situation, Dr. Llavona or Dr. Oliver may recommend using your own soft tissue or tissue from a tissue bank. Both options are completely safe and provide excellent results. After your procedure, you will need to relax and take certain precautions to let your gums heal. Avoid excessive physical activity and maintain a nutritious diet of soft foods. Do not brush or floss around the treated area until our dentists says it is okay. We will provide you with further post-treatment instructions, based on your unique needs, after your procedure.
Once your healing period is complete and your gum graft has integrated with your natural gums, our dentists will work with you to establish and maintain a good dental hygiene routine. This will include brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You will also need to continue to visit our practice at least every six months for a routine checkup. In some cases, our dentists may recommend more frequent visits. Your oral hygiene routine may also include the use of mouth rinses or other aids to keep your oral health in pristine condition.
If you would like to learn more about our soft tissue grafts, or if you have noticed a receding gum line in your smile, we encourage you to contact our practice and set up an appointment with our caring dentists.