When your gums recede, more of the tooth is exposed, including the delicate roots. This process can lead to dental sensitivity and eventual tooth loss. A gum graft can restore lost tissue, improving the comfort, health, and appearance of your smile. At Knoxville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C., we provide soft tissue grafting to restore your oral health after gum recession. Drs. Turner P. Emery, Michael D. Wooten, and Nicole C. Eisenberg skillfully perform grafting procedures in our private surgical center in Knoxville, TN. We also offer several sedation options to ensure your comfort during treatment.
Understanding Gum Recession
Gum recession is a common dental health issue. It can occur due to gum disease, overly aggressive brushing, and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
Gum recession is often so gradual that patients do not notice the changes in their smile. Over time, you may begin to notice several symptoms including:
- Changes in the length and appearance of your teeth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Bad breath
- Redness or swelling of gums
- Loose teeth
By attending regular dental exams, our team can identify signs of recession in the earliest stages and determine the best way to restore the health of your gums.
The Benefits of Gum Grafting
For patients with receded gums, grafting offers a range of benefits, such as:
- Reducing tooth sensitivity
- Protecting your roots from decay
- Providing a more even, aesthetic gum line
Leaving recession untreated can cause serious damage to your oral health. The longer roots are exposed, the more likely other concerns will develop. If not addressed properly, tooth loss will occur, requiring more extensive treatment such as dental implants to restore oral health.
What to Expect during a Gum Graft
Before your procedure, we will first ensure you are comfortable by administering local anesthesia. We can also provide sedation if necessary.
To begin, the doctor will first remove any diseased or damaged tissue. A graft will then be placed over the treatment area. Depending on your specific needs, we may take tissue from your soft palate, a flap of nearby gum tissue, or from a tissue bank. Once the grafting material is in place, it will be secured with sutures.
Recovering from Your Grafting Procedure
Gum grafting is an outpatient procedure, so you can return home shortly after completion. If sedation was used during your procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. Your gums will likely feel uncomfortable after the treatment. For at least a week or two, eat soft, cool foods, such as eggs, pasta, yogurt, and ice cream.
Leaving recession untreated can cause serious damage to your oral health. If gum recession is not addressed properly, tooth loss will occur.
You should not brush your teeth or use a rinse for 24 hours after surgery. From then on, you should exercise caution when brushing or flossing, avoiding the treatment area until it has fully healed. We can also provide a rinse to protect your oral health during this time. Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to resume daily brushing and flossing. While it will take a couple of weeks for your gums to heal, you should be able to return to your normal activities the day after surgery.
Restore Your Gumline
If you are experiencing gum pain or swelling, or your teeth appear longer than usual, contact our office online or call (865) 584-6207 to speak to a member of our team today. We have helped many patients experience improved comfort and a more beautiful smile after surgery.