How Can We Treat Gum Recession?

In times like this, practicing proper hygiene is a vital aspect to your overall health and wellness – especially when it comes to proper oral hygiene. For many of us, oral hygiene is simply a matter of brushing our teeth every morning, and while this is surely an integral aspect of our health, proper oral hygiene requires a lot more than just brushing once a day. The fact is that everything we eat or drink is passing through the mouth, making us highly susceptible to unwanted bacterial buildup and the presence of plaque. According to dental implant specialist, Dr. David Malakov, practicing proper oral hygiene means not only brushing your teeth, but flossing, as well as to care for your gums. In many instances, poor oral hygiene can lead to the need for gum graft surgery. While this might sound like quite a daunting procedure, gum graft surgery is considered to a necessary aspect of protecting our teeth and gums from the damaging effects of gum disease. Gum disease can present itself in a number of different ways, from bleeding gums to gum recession – where the gums will actually begin to breakdown and recede, leaving our teeth and the roots of our teeth far more exposed to outside infection – and in essence issues such as gingivitis and gum disease.

As we mentioned, gum recession is the process in which the tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls away from a tooth, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. The reason why this is such an issue is because gum recession can lead to damage to the supporting bone tissue that hold our teeth and gums in place. According to dental implant specialist, Dr. David Malakov, one of the biggest issues surrounding such an issue is that gum recession can often go unnoticed, until an individual sees such symptoms as bleeding gums, and pain in their gums and teeth. While gum disease issues may not seem to be quite common, it does affect anywhere from 5 to 15% of all adults across the United States. Considering how gradual a process gum recession can be, many individuals will not even notice it has happened until it has left the roots of our teeth exposed – this is both a cosmetic issue, as well as a functional issue – leaving us highly susceptible to oral sensitivity or bleeding gums, and making it hard for us to consume hot or cold foods and beverages. Over time, if left untreated, gum recession can lead to the loss of teeth, and overall bone loss – making gum graft surgery necessary.

Generally, gum graft surgery is done in three specific ways, depending upon the patient’s specific symptoms and their corrective needs. These include:

· Connective Tissue Grafts: The most common method of treating root exposure and gum recession, a connective tissue graft utilizes a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue. These tissues are removed and then stitched to the remaining gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue, the graft, has been removed from under the palatal flap, the flap is stitched back down.

· Pedicle Grafts: During this type of procedure, rather than taking tissue from the palate, tissue is grafted from gum around the tooth that is in most need of repair. The flap of tissue, known as the pedicle, is partially cut away so that only one edge remains attached. The gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root and sewn into place. According to dental implant specialist, Dr. David Malakov, this method will only work for those individuals who have plenty of gum tissue remaining near the tooth.

· Free Gingival Grafts: Similar to a connective-tissue graft, free gingival grafts involve the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. But instead of making a flap and removing tissue under the top layer of flesh, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area being treated. This method is used most often in people who have thin gums to begin with and need additional tissue to enlarge the gums.

Its important for individuals to practice good overall oral hygiene, as without it, it is highly likely that you will require an invasive method such as gum graft surgery. To learn more about treading gum disease related issues, or to schedule an appointment, be sure to contact Dr. Malakov today.