Reasons for Gum Surgery and What to Expect – Part 2
Soft Tissue Graft
There are many different causes of gum recession. Some of these include inflammation caused by gum disease, teeth grinding and overly-aggressive teeth-brushing. As gums recede, the parts of the tooth that are normally protected are exposed. One way of treating gum recession is through a soft tissue graft, which can be done both for health and cosmetic reasons. Treating the recession will both make the teeth look better, and make them healthier, as well. Additionally, if the cause of recession is addressed, further gum recession can be avoided.
The soft tissue for this graft will be taken from your palate (the roof of your mouth). Your periodontist will remove a portion of the sub-epithelial tissue and relocate it to the area where gum recession has taken place, covering up the exposed root of the teeth. In some cases, this tissue will come from a tissue bank, rather than from the patient. This tissue will need to be treated with stimulating proteins to help prevent the body from rejecting the graft and to better support regeneration.
Guided tissue regeneration is a way to restore some of the tissue that has been lost due to gum disease. When someone suffers from periodontal disease, pockets in the gums form around the teeth where the bacterial infection causes the bone and tissues in the are to be destroyed. These pockets will continue to get deeper over time and can ultimately lead to tooth loss if not treated. Regenerative surgery is a method that aims to restore this lost bone and tissue through the use of bio-compatible materials.
The first step of the procedure requires the periodontist to pull back the gums and eliminate the bacteria in the area. New materials will be added to help aid the growth of new tissue, whether this is a bone graft, a special membrane or tissue-stimulating proteins. Once these are in place, the gums are closed up again and the new material will help guide the new tissue to grow back into place.
These are two of the surgical techniques that can be used to treat advanced periodontal disease. In part three of this series, we’ll follow up with a few more.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is suffering from periodontal disease, contact us for a consultation.