Soft Tissue Grafts or Gum Grafts
Apart from developing pockets and bone loss, periodontal disease can cause gum recession, exposing the teeth’s roots. When overlying soft tissue is lost from the root of a tooth, it becomes more prone to sensitivity, decay, and additional loss of bone. The smile aesthetics also is affected due to the gum recession. For example, a broad smile becomes less visually appealing because of the front teeth’s root structure being uncovered. Usually, gum disease is what leads to gum recession. However, aggressive tooth brushing and other habits may also wear away gum tissue.
The gum graft procedure is also a soft tissue graft or gingival graft. To resolve the problems created by receding gums, the dentist will replace the soft tissue over the exposed area of the tooth. Gum tissue for grafting procedures can be obtained from another donor source, or it can also be harvested from a nearby mouth site. This procedure can be performed on one or both teeth, and the dentist will determine the type of gum graft.
A gum graft can be classified into three types. They are;
Free Gingival Graft: A small piece of tissue is taken from the palate in this grafting procedure. It is used in scenarios when extra thick tissue is required to prevent gum recession.
Connective Tissue Graft: It is a frequently used graft harvested from a connective tissue’s sub-layer located beneath the uppermost tissue layer on the roof of the mouth.
Pedicle Graft: This graft is created from the flap of tissue near the area of gum recession.
An individual will have to follow the dentist’s detailed post-operative care instructions upon completing the gum graft procedure. The patient will also have to go for follow-up visits so that the dentist can check whether the surgical site is healing correctly or not.