Soft Tissue Grafting
Our soft tissues (gums) are just as important to our oral health as our teeth. At Dr. Hilton Israelson, we specialize in preventive and restorative treatments for your soft tissues. One of the most common restorative treatments we perform is known as soft tissue grafting.
Reasons for Soft Tissue Grafting
As a periodontist, Dr. Israelson is focused on helping you maintain and improve your periodontal health. Soft tissue grafting is often a vital part of combating gum recession. You may experience gum recession due to periodontal disease, aging, trauma, crowded teeth, and over-brushing.
Periodontal disease, an infection caused by bacterial plaque, is by far the leading cause of gum recession. If left untreated, this infection will spread to the gum tissues, connective ligaments, and supportive bone. The destruction of your gums can leave the roots of your teeth exposed. Exposed roots can result in tooth decay and severe sensitivity issues when eating hot and cold foods.
The main goal of soft tissue grafting is to cover your exposed roots and improve your existing gum tissues. The procedure can help prevent additional recession and bone deterioration. Most sensitivity issues should also subside following your graft.
Types of Soft Tissue Grafting
There are three major types of soft tissue grafting. The type of graft you receive is dictated by the current status of your soft tissues and gum recession. Depending on your situation, we may recommend a:
||Connective tissue graft. During this procedure, a small flap of skin is made in the roof of your mouth (palate). We then take a tissue (subepithelial connective tissue) from underneath this flap and attach it the area surrounding your exposed roots. Once the tissue is in place, we will suture the flap back to your palate. This is the most common soft tissue graft.
||Free gingival graft. This procedure also uses healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth. However, we do not need to make a flap, instead of using tissue directly from the top layer of your palate. This type of graft is most common for patients with thin gums that need additional tissue.
||Pedicle graft. This procedure involves taking tissue from a healthier area of your gums. During the surgery, we make a flap, called a pedicle, in the tissue surrounding the recession. The flap is cut away from one side, pulled over the recessed area, and sutured in place. This procedure is usually reserved for patients who still have a significant amount of healthy gum tissue surrounding the recessed area.
For the week or two following your soft tissue graft, be sure to follow our post-operative instructions. In most cases, you should limit your diet to soft and cool foods, such as pasta, eggs, and well-cooked vegetables. With proper guidance, most soft tissue grafts have a relatively comfortable healing process.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Grafting
Besides improving your periodontal health, a soft tissue graft can also improve the aesthetics of your smile. A beautiful smile is all about striking an aesthetic balance between your teeth and gums. After your soft tissue graft, your teeth will be surrounded by pink, beautiful, and healthy gums!
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment
If you have experiences severe gum recession, you may need a gum graft! Call (972) 669-9444 to schedule your consultation appointment today.