Are your gums receding? This is a common experience for people and can become progressively worse over time. The gums can recede from the teeth due to a variety of reasons including heavy toothbrushing, gum disease, and genetics. Receding gums causes part of the roots of your teeth to be exposed which can lead to sensitivity, increased risk of decay, and poor esthetics.
Once this tissue is lost and the roots exposed, the gums won’t come back on their own. But a gum graft procedure can potentially restore the lost gum and cover roots. Stem-cell like material can be applied to reestablish the lost tooth support. What is the typical gum grafting success rate? Will it work and will it last? Here’s what you can expect.
Gum Grafting Success Rate:
Gum grafting procedures have a high rate of success. There are two aspects to gum grafting- one is to reestablish a thick layer of recession-resistant gum tissue and the second is to cover the previously exposed roots.The success of your gum graft procedure depends on multiple factors including the initial severity of the problem and the cause of the recession. Consultation with a specialist in the field will clarify how to treat the recession and what outcome to expect.
What Can the Patient Do to Help Their Gum Graft to Be Successful?
The success of a gum graft procedure depends on the initial problem, the healthcare provider, and patient compliance to achieve the best outcome. If you follow the instructions from your dentist, you have a better chance of success.
- Avoid hard foods. It would be best to avoid hard and crunchy foods like nuts, chips, or anything that would potentially damage the gum tissue as it is healing. You could attempt to chew them on the opposite side from your gum graft, but there’s always a chance that a piece of food could get to the wrong side and cause a problem.
- Avoid brushing or flossing where your gum graft is. For a certain period of time after your gum graft, your dentist will tell you to avoid brushing or flossing in that area. This time frame could range anywhere from 10 days to a few weeks and you may need a follow up appointment to check your healing progress before your dentist gives your permission to resume brushing and flossing.
- Use the mouthwash your dentist prescribes. While you are unable to brush, your dentist will prescribe you a mouthwash that will help to prevent bacteria from building up on your teeth. Be sure to use the mouthwash according to your dentist’s instructions.
- Take antibiotics as prescribed. In many cases dentists prescribe antibiotics following a gum graft procedure in order to prevent infection of the gum tissue. Be sure to take your antibiotics for the entire duration of the dosage.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of gum graft failure. It constricts the blood vessels in the gums which will harm the healing process of the gum tissue. It is best to avoid smoking while your graft is healing, and quitting altogether would be best for your oral health as well as your overall health.
What Can Cause a Gum Graft to Fail?
Although gum graft procedures are highly successful, there are times when the initial problems causing the recession cannot be resolved. Of course all of the items listed to improve success rates need to be followed to achieve the optimum outcome.
Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry Provides Gum Recession Treatment
If your gums have receded enough that you want or need to have them corrected, you have multiple options dependent on the treatment needs. One technique of gum grafting utilizes your own soft tissue to develop the root coverage. Another option is are “tunnel procedures” which utilize small incisions to allow collagen materials and stem-cell like materials to be placed to regenerate the lost gum tissue. The Chao PinholeⓇ Technique is one of these techniques.
Dr. Marc Gordon at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry offers many different types of soft tissue procedures to resolve recession and can provide you with the best choices based on your current issues.