Untreated periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, can easily turn into a serious dental issue. You may notice gum disease first by the appearance of bleeding gums or bad breath. Eventually, you may even need surgery to repair the damage. Your dentist at Dental Associates of Morris County prefers to help you prevent that condition. But if gum disease worsens, he may be able to fix it with a gum graft. Don’t wait until your gums get in bad shape. See your dentist. He has options to painlessly provide the treatment you need.
To perform a gum graft, your dentist at Dental Associates of Morris County removes healthy skin from another place in your mouth or uses synthetic tissue. The donor tissue helps repair receding gums that occur from gum disease. Gum graft surgery is always a last resort, however. Gum grafting is simple and safe when performed by a trained family dentist.
Your dental team in Madison, New Jersey, ensures your comfort and safety during all dental procedures and always concentrates on your ultimate dental health first. They also practice cosmetic dentistry, so if you need any follow-up procedures to improve your appearance after gum grafting, you can get them done at the same place.
Why Do I Need a Gum Graft?
Gum graft surgery is one of the best methods used to treat damaging gum disease. Periodontitis first begins with gingivitis, which is a milder form of gum disease. It usually causes gums to get inflamed and bleed, which you might notice when you brush. Maintaining regular checkups and cleanings is the first line of defense against developing serious gum disease complications that require gum graft surgery.
You can take measures yourself because inflammation and receding gums often is exacerbated by brushing too strenuously or by using a hard-bristled toothbrush. In its early stages, periodontitis also is the result of bacteria built up around your gum line.
A Common American Malady
Gum disease is fairly common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reports: “In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.”
A CDC report showed the prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:
- More than 47 percent of adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease.
- Periodontal disease increases with age, as 70 percent of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
Common Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Pay attention to your dental health so you can catch the early warning signs of gingivitis. If you start to develop sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages, you may be in the early stages. Loose teeth, bad breath, bleeding gums, and pain when you chew are gum disease signs that you should tell your dentist about. The CDC reports other common risks that could make you more susceptible to periodontitis, such as:
- Having crooked teeth, because it’s more difficult to remove bacteria from hard-to-reach places
- Wearing dentures that don’t fit well and cause abrasions in your mouth
- Getting a bridge that doesn’t fit the space well
- Continuing to smoke or abuse alcohol or drugs
- Having some kind of immune system deficiency
- Inheriting a tendency for gum disease
Adjust your regular dental hygiene regimen according to your dentist’s instructions. Get additional treatments, like a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque from under your gums if recommended by your dentist. Take antibiotics if an infection is present. If the disease isn’t relieved by these efforts, or if your gum recession is too severe, then you may need to undergo gum graft surgery.
The Basics of Gum Graft Surgery
Your Madison, NJ dentist has access to state-of-the-art gum graft techniques. And while a local anesthetic is usually enough to keep you comfortable during the process, he also offers modern sedation dentistry if you’re very sensitive to pain or overly anxious about the procedure.
You don’t have to do anything special before you arrive at the dentist’s office. You should, however, make arrangements for a ride home because you may feel groggy after sedation.
Once you’re comfortable, small layers of skin are removed and stitched into place where the gum graft fills in your gums back to a healthy state. The end result, after you recovery from the surgery, is a better-looking smile and prevention from further deterioration.
Gum Graft Recovery
Gum graft recovery doesn’t take long at all. To help with any pain after the procedure, your dentist can give you a prescription for pain medication. Eating a diet of mainly soft foods helps keep discomfort at bay. You get a special anti-bacterial mouthwash to aid your healing as well. Follow your dentist’s directions so that gum disease doesn’t return.
Complications rarely happen, but a surgical procedure can lead to an infection or allergic reaction to materials used. Notify your dentist immediately if you have any unusual pain or other problems.