For dental patients who may be ready to pursue dental implants, it is common to be told that a bone graft will be needed before the implant surgery can be done. While this can sound complicated, in reality it is a fairly simple procedure that many patients undergo.A graft is a minor surgery that transplants…
How Painful is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure performed to correct the effects of gum recession. It is also used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of the gums.
The procedure is quick and relatively simple. It involves the surgeon removing healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth to rebuild the gums where they have receded.
Is gum grafting surgery painful?
Gum recession occurs when the tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls away from a tooth and exposes the tooth's root, which can cause damage to the supporting bone. It is a common problem that affects over one in ten adults, but most of them do not notice it until it becomes severe.
Most people do not notice that their gums have receded because it is a slow process. Over time, the recession becomes worse and can lead to the tooth root being exposed, which can cause sensitivity in the tooth. If the problem is not treated promptly, it can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed and further dental problems can be avoided thanks to gum grafting.
What happens during the procedure?
There are three different types of gum grafting performed by dentists. The type used on a patient depends on their condition.
The different gum grafting techniques are:
- Connective-tissue grafts: This is the most common gum grafting procedure. During the procedure, the dentist will cut a flap of skin from the roof of the patient’s mouth. The tissue from the flap, called the subepithelial connective tissue, is removed before being stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the tissue has been removed from under the flap, the flap is then stitched back
- Free gingival grafts: Free gingival grafts also use tissue from the roof of the mouth for gum grafting. However, instead of making a flap and removing the tissue, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth. Then, it is attached to the gum area that is being treated. It is commonly used on people who have thin gums
- Pedicle grafts: Instead of taking tissue from the roof of the mouth, the tissue used to perform the gum draft is grafted from gum around or near the tooth needing repair. The flap is partially cut away so that one edge remains attached. The gum is then pulled over or below to cover the exposed root before being sewn into place. The procedure is only used on people who have plenty of gum tissue around the tooth
What happens after the procedure?
The patient will be allowed to go home after the procedure, but they will need to have someone drive them home because they will be sedated during the procedure.
There will be some swelling and pain after the procedure but the dentist will prescribe painkillers and advise their patient to put an icepack to reduce the swelling. The patient will also be given antibiotics to prevent infection.
Gum grafting is used to treat gum recession by using tissue from the mouth to cover up exposed roots. If your gums are receding and you want to fix the problem, talk to your dentist about undergoing gum grafting surgery.
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