Gums insulate our teeth, fight against infections, and provide complete support to our mouth. They may get infected soon if we forget to take care of them. Severe gum disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. A gum graft can help you in many cases of gum diseases.

Here, we can discuss the eligibility to perform gum graft, the cost of gum graft treatment, and other in-depth concepts. 

Am I a Candidate For Gum Tissue Graft?

How can you find the eligibility for a gum graft? To check this, you need a self-analysis. 

  • If you notice a receding gum in your mouth, it can be a symptom that you may need a graft. To find that open your mouth and hold your teeth in place with fingers. 
  • Stand close to the mirror for a complete inspection. If you find that your teeth seem long, it may be the symptoms of receding gums.
  • You may get receding gums if you brush your teeth too hard. The next test you can do by yourself is to drink a glass of cold water and drink a hot beverage immediately after. Notice how you and your teeth feel as you drink this combination. If you feel a sudden pain, it can be due to sensitive teeth from receding gums.
  • In other cases, patients with periodontitis require a gum graft to repair their damaged tissues. 
  • Frequent bleeding, bad breath (that will not go with proper brushing, and swollen gums) are some symptoms of receding gums. 
  • Do not panic if you have any or a combination of these symptoms. Consult your dentist and get the treatment soon. But finding receding gum is not as easy as you think. 

Visit your dentist at a periodic interval for a general check-up and ask about your gum. If they notice something wrong with the gums, they may recommend a gum graft for you.

What Are The Various Types of Gum Tissues Graft?

Following are some types of gum tissue grafts.

  • Gingival flap surgery: When you have high gum disease, it causes bacteria to move forward and spread underneath the soft tissue. In this situation, your periodontist will recommend this type of procedure. Removing unwanted bacteria and infected tissue is essential to prevent various side effects, like bone loss and tooth loss. They will lift the tissue and clean the infected area to reduce the likelihood of future problems. After cleaning, they will place and secure the gum in the same place to encourage reattachment to your teeth.
  • Soft tissue grafting: Gum recession is the most evident sign of periodontal disease. Due to this, your tooth structure and root become exposed, resulting in an increased risk for various infections and tooth sensitivity. In this stage, your periodontist will retrieve tissue from the tooth roof to prevent worse side effects. Thus, they will cover the exposed tooth roots to prevent further gum recession.
  • Crown lengthening: It will come under the cosmetic procedure. But it treats gum disease too. If you have an overgrowth in soft tissue, it causes your teeth to look short and stubby. Some people will call this a “gummy smile.” And it is difficult to clean and maintain this excess of soft tissue. So, it is better to remove unnecessary gum tissue with the help of a periodontist and expose more of your natural tooth root. This method will be highly beneficial, especially if you need a customized restoration.
  • Gum regeneration: If your soft tissues have a heavy bacterial infection, your periodontist may recommend a gingival flap surgery or gum regeneration. Instead of securing or treating gum tissue, this process allows your soft tissues to regenerate naturally. The periodontist will place a bone graft into the area after folding back your gums. This process encourages new and existing tissue to restore and create a healthier and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

What Are The Complications Of Gum Tissue Graft?

If any unskilled or unprofessional handles this gum graft procedure, the chances of complications are high. Potential complications due to this procedure include swelling, infections, uneven healing, and loose sutures.

We can see some complications in detail.  

  • Bleeding: You can notice bleeding from the roof of the mouth. In connective tissue grafting, they harvest the middle layer from the mouth roof. It will not bleed as much. But in free gingival grafting, they take the surface layer from the mouth roof. It will bleed more.
  • Gum graft failure: It is essential to find a skilled and experienced periodontist for gum grafting. Also, ensure to obey the post-operative instructions carefully to prevent gum graft failure. Avoid smoking and check your diabetic level before and after gum graft.
  • Swelling: This is a common complication of gum tissue graft. Swelling is not a complication, but you need to be prepared to face swelling after a gum tissue graft. Swelling may reach the peak state on the third or fourth day. It will reduce after that. 
  • Infection: Infection occurs only in rare cases. If you feel pain, inflammation, or notice pus coming from the grafted areas, it may be evidence of infection.  
  • Loosening sutures: The survival of the graft tissue obtained from the mouth roof depends on the blood supply from the surrounding bone. The grafted tissue stability is essential for forming and migrating vessels.
  • Uneven healing: If there is an obvious problem with symmetry, you need to go back and do a gingivoplasty. In this procedure, your dentist will thin the extra soft tissue.

Severe swelling or loosening of the sutures may move the graft during the healing process. In these cases, you need to wait until the maturation of the surrounding tissues before repeating. Every case is different, and some surgical sites are harder to handle. It may differ based on the severity of the exposure.

Recovery time and instructions

You can leave the hospital shortly after the procedure. It is essential to eat soft and cold foods during the first week or two of recovery. If you eat hard and hot food, your graft may feel burned and irritated. Some recommended foods for the recovery period are

  • scrambled or soft-boiled eggs
  • yogurt
  • well-cooked vegetables
  • cottage cheese
  • ice cream
  • gelatin 

Your periodontist suggests antimicrobial mouthwash for a couple of weeks to avoid plaque buildup and prevent infections on your teeth and other issues. Avoid brushing and flossing that area until your doctor says it for fast healing. Sometimes, harsh brushing may open the wound or cause an infection.

How Much Does A Gum Tissue Graft?

If you need grafting for one tooth and a small area, it generally costs around $1,000. But, the cost of the gum graft varies based on several factors.

Conclusion

A gum tissue graft protects your teeth and roots from decay and prevents inflammation. It can reduce tooth sensitivity and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Visit your dentist once every six months for a general check-up and ask about your gum. If they notice something wrong with the gums, they may recommend a gum graft for you. Do not hesitate to do that. Keep smiling!

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