Connective Tissue Grafts
Untreated gum disease can lead to a significant number of problems. What starts as an infection of your gums, with symptoms including red, swollen gums, can spread to and affect your teeth and jawbone. As your gums pull away from your teeth, bacteria fall below the gum line, causing infections in your teeth and jawbone. One of the most common effects of untreated gum disease is gum recession. As your gums recede, the roots of your teeth are exposed, causing sensitivity to heat and cold and increasing your risk for tooth decay. At Midwest Periodontics, we want to help treat your gum disease and give you back your beautiful smile. One way in which we can do this is through a connective tissue graft.
What is a graft?
A graft is a procedure that, usually, uses your own tissues from somewhere else on your body, to regenerate tissue in a specific area. There are some instances where tissue is needed from a separate donor. The donor tissue, whether it’s your own or from another donor, is stitched onto the affected area and left to heal.
Connective Tissue Graft
A connective tissue graft is one of three types of soft tissue grafting. This particular procedure uses tissue from under your palate to regenerate your gum tissue. First, anesthesia is applied. Next, a flap is cut at the roof of your mouth and tissue from under that flap is removed. It is then stitched onto gums where recession has occurred. The flap is stitched closed.
Benefits of Connective Tissue Grafting
Connective tissue grafting offers you several benefits:
A healthier mouth
Gum disease destroys your gums. A gum graft, combined with periodontal cleaning procedures, can help improve the health of your gums, your teeth and your jawbone, preventing further gum loss, protecting the roots of your teeth and saving your jawbone from deteriorating.
Better quality of life
Receding gums exposes the roots of your teeth. When this happens, your teeth become extremely sensitive to everything you eat, especially if it’s extremely hot or cold, acidic, salty or spicy. Having a connective tissue graft covers the roots of your teeth and allows you to go back to eating and drinking the foods you love.
When your gums recede, your teeth appear longer. Your mouth also tends to look unhealthy, and can age you beyond your years. A gum graft restores your mouth to its normal, healthy appearance, giving you a smile you’re sure to love showing off.
Healing from a Connective Tissue Graft
A connective tissue graft, which is often done under a local anesthetic, is a same day procedure, which means you can go home immediately afterward. Limit your activities for at least the first day or so, in order to help minimize bleeding and swelling. Pain can usually be managed with an over the counter pain reliever. For at least the first week you should stick to a soft food diet and avoid anything that is too hot, too cold, acidic, spicy or salty.
You should keep a normal oral hygiene regimen, although you should avoid brushing and flossing the area where your graft was placed. You may be prescribed an antibiotic mouthwash to aid in healing. Within a week or two, you should be healed.
If your gums have receded as a result of periodontal disease, Midwest Periodontics can restore your smile, and help preserve the integrity of your gums and jawbone, with a connective tissue graft. Give us a call today at (816) 207-4005 for more information.