Gingival grafting, also called “gum grafting” is a surgical procedure that’s required to restore your smile if you’ve been affected by gum recession caused by periodontal disease. In severe cases of gum disease, the gums pull away from the teeth, which can cause serious damage to the underlying support structure of your teeth.
Gingival grafting is used to avoid this issue, and restore your gums and the health of your teeth. It’s commonly used alongside other periodontal treatments like antibiotics and LANAP laser therapy to halt and reverse the effects of periodontal disease.
The process of a gingival graft is quite simple to understand. Basically, you’re taking oral tissue from one part of your body and moving it to another place. To begin the process, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed to ensure your comfort.
Then, the Denver team at Poulos & Somers will use advanced surgical tools to remove a small amount of oral tissue from the roof of your mouth (palate). This is the tissue that will be used to rebuild your gums.
Once the tissue has been removed from the roof of your mouth, it is attached to the gum tissue using special surgical techniques, and is grafted in place permanently. Over time, this new tissue will heal and bond with your surrounding gum tissue. This stimulates the production of new gum tissue, which restores your gums and your teeth, and reverses the effects of gum recession.
Not only does gingival grafting from our doctors restore your oral health, but it also restores the appearance of your smile. Gum recession can make your teeth look longer and disproportionate to the rest of your mouth, which may result in self-confidence issues when you smile or speak.
Gingival grafts are necessary if your gums are receding. This is usually caused by gum disease, but can also be caused by things like overly-aggressive brushing with a stiff toothbrush, which can cause the gum tissue to deteriorate over time.
Gum recession is a very serious issue, and it’s more than just cosmetic. You see, the upper layers of your teeth are made of very hard materials called “enamel” and “dentin.” Together, they protect the inside of your tooth from damage, and they are very strong and durable.
But below the gum line, your teeth are composed of “cementum,” which is a much softer and less durable material. This is not normally a big deal, because the cementum is completely covered up by the gum tissue, which adds more protection.
However, when your gums recede, the cementum is exposed. Because it’s less durable and strong, it’s more prone to damage and decay, which can lead to further complications like tooth infections.
Yes. Gingival grafting is permanent. Your gums will bond with the grafted tissue and regrow permanently, reversing the effects of gum recession and protecting your teeth from further damage. As long as you take proper care of your teeth and gums after surgery, you will not need to have another gingival graft in the future. Call or contact us online for a grafting consultation at our Denver practice!
It will take a total of 1-2 weeks for your gums to heal from the gum grafting procedure. You will be able to go home shortly after the procedure has been completed. However, if you needed additional sedation, then you will need to get a ride home as you will not be able to drive.
The dentist will give you instructions on what to expect and how to care for your gums during this time. Your pain level will depend on the type of gum graft you received. Patients are typically more uncomfortable when tissue is removed from the palate. Your gums may feel tender or painful for a few days, which can be relieved with anti-inflammatory pain medication. You will need to rest for at least 48 hours and abstain from strenuous physical activity.
If you notice persistent bleeding that won’t stop after you’ve applied pressure for at least 20 minutes or you have an unreasonable amount of bruising or swelling, you should contact our Denver practice right away.
The most important part of your recovery is to not disturb your gums so they can heal. You will need to stick to soft foods for a minimum of a week but ideally for 2 weeks. Foods and drinks that are too hot or too cold should also be avoided. Appropriate foods include pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, pasta, and Jell-O.
You will not be able to brush or floss until your gums have completely healed. To keep your mouth clean, you will be prescribed an antibacterial mouthwash that you will swish around your mouth.
Because policies and insurance plans vary greatly, the only way to know how much of a gum grafting procedure your insurance will cover if at all is to contact your provider directly. Many insurance policies do cover gum grafting at least partially or entirely, while other insurance policies won’t cover it at all.
Your chances of having the procedure covered by insurance increase if the reason for the procedure was not purely for cosmetics. If you received gum grafts to cover up exposed roots or to prevent bone loss, these are more likely to be covered by insurance.
At Poulos & Somers, we offer financing options for patients with no or limited insurance coverage so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for necessary dental treatments. We never want cost to be a barrier to treatment for our Denver patients. We offer extended payment plans with CareCredit and Lending Club. To learn more about your financing options, contact us today at (303) 832-4867.