Gums serve an important role in keeping your mouth healthy. The tissue covers and protects the roots of your teeth, ensuring bacteria can't reach the areas that don’t have enamel. They also have an impact on how your smile looks. If insufficient tissue makes your teeth look too long or feel exposed, an oral surgery called a gum tissue graft might be an ideal solution. This guide explains how the procedure works and who benefits from it.
How Does Tissue Grafting Work?
Oral surgeons consider gum tissue grafts to be minor procedures. During the surgery, a small incision is made on the roof of your mouth to retrieve tissue for the graft. It is then placed over the base of the affected tooth and stitched in place. The tissue and initial incision will heal quickly, leaving you with newly restored gums.
If you have enough gum tissue near the tooth in question, a variation of this procedure, called a pedicle graft, may be performed instead. This procedure does not use tissue from elsewhere in the mouth. Instead, the existing gum is partially cut and repositioned to cover the exposed part of the tooth. It is then held in place with sutures, so it can heal.
When Is Grafting Used?
There are two circumstances in which this type of oral surgery might be appropriate. One is when gum recession has left the tooth roots vulnerable to decay. In this case, the graft is used to protect the area. You may also see an oral surgeon for a gum graft as part of a cosmetic dental care program. This is recommended when the teeth are healthy but appear too long due to insufficient gum tissue.
Whether you need a gum tissue graft for health reasons or aesthetic purposes, the procedure is quick and safe. Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska in Anchorage provides precise and effective treatments, so their patients can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles. Their oral surgery techniques range from simple gum grafting to extensive reconstruction. To schedule a surgical consultation, call (907) 561-1430 or contact the practice online.