Gum recession is one of the most noticeable symptoms of gum disease. As gums recede, they expose an increasing amount of the tooth crown and root. For a patient suffering from gum disease, gum recession can affect one or many teeth, causing a wide range of symptoms including sensitivity, inflammation of gum tissue, root exposure, and cavities. It is important to address gum recession because the gums are the primary barrier against bacteria which can cause bone and gum deterioration, lead to tooth loss, or enter the body and cause additional systemic issues.
In addition to the health concerns posed by gum recession, there are also aesthetic concerns for patients. Some feel embarrassed by the apparent size and length of their teeth. Gum grafting augments the gumline to create a more natural and attractive smile, offering a solution to both the aesthetic and health concerns related to gum recession.
There are three primary types of gum grafts. Your dentist will determine on a case-by-case, tooth-by-tooth basis which approach is most appropriate to a specific situation.
After your gum grafting procedure your dentist will provide you with a sedative to help you relax, so you will need to be escorted home by a friend or loved-one. It is important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your dentist. Do not brush or floss the treated area until healed. Your dentist will give you a special mouthwash to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria in the meantime. You will need to follow a soft foods diet for about 1 week after the procedure. Pain following the treatment depends on the type of graft selected and each patient’s individual pain tolerance. You dentist will most likely recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medicine, or in some more severe cases will prescribe a stronger pain medicine. Patients are generally able to return to work and daily activities in 1-2 days.