Gum Grafts in Calgary, AB
Why Is It Important to Treat Gum Recession?
While gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity and affect the appearance of your smile, leaving it untreated also leaves you susceptible to decay and infection, which can eventually lead to bone and tooth loss.
What Is a Gum Graft?
Also known as a soft tissue graft or gingival graft, a gum graft is a surgical procedure where an area lacking thick gum tissue is thickened and/or repositioned so that it is covering the tooth’s root surface. In many cases gum tissue is obtained from the roof of the mouth; however, this is not always required as we can use surgical techniques using other sources of gum tissue if you prefer. By thickening and/or repositioning the gum tissue around a tooth we can help to prevent the recession from getting worse, or even reverse it.
How Does a Gum Graft Address Gum Recession?
Gum grafts address three of the main problem areas associated with gum recession:
1. Sensitivity, Decay, and Cavities
Most commonly gum grafts are used to cover areas where there is gum recession and the root surfaces of the tooth/teeth are exposed. If the roots are exposed there can be increased sensitivity, increased risk of cavities, increased wear of the tooth root, and an increased risk of tooth mobility (wiggly teeth).
2. Improving the Appearance of Your Smile
A gum graft can also be used to address cosmetic concerns associated with gum recession. The most common cosmetic concern with gum recession is that it makes the teeth appear longer, consequently making you look older (this is where the saying “long in the tooth” comes from). Another common concern is that the colour of the exposed root is differs from the tooth which impacts the look of your smile.
3. Long-term Oral Health
Gum recession can make it more difficult to clean the teeth properly. If you have inflammation around the areas with gum recession, the recession will tend to get worse. If your gums recede, the bone tends to recede as well; and if your bone recedes your teeth lose the support they need which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Before and After
Note: Photos are for illustration only. Individual results may vary.
What Can I Expect When Getting a Gum Graft?
(And Most Importantly, What Can I Eat Following the Procedure?)
Typically there is some discomfort for 3-4 days following the procedure which is controlled well with over-the-counter pain medication. A soft diet is recommended for 10 to 14 days following the surgery, but this mostly means avoiding small hard foods like seeds, nuts, popcorn or chips.
Most people can return to their normal daily activities the day after the gum graft is performed. After four days the discomfort starts to decrease significantly and after one week the site is only tender when poked or prodded. After three weeks you can begin brushing and flossing the area again comfortably. Over the next few months the gums will continue to mature.
Trust Your Gum Graft With a Gum Surgery Specialist
If you’re looking for a gum graft in Calgary you’ve come to the right place. As a periodontist, Dr. Gibson is a gum surgery specialist with years of training and experience performing gum graft surgery.