If one or more of your teeth appear longer than their neighbors, you may be experiencing gum recession. While the appearance of recession can detract from your smile, it can also be a sign of a long-term dental problem. Recession leaves your teeth susceptible to developing plaque and cavities in the tooth’s root, a problem that a simple filling is unlikely to correct effectively. Gum recession is also a sign that you are losing tooth-supporting bone beneath the surface.
Gum grafting can prevent bone loss and the development of plaque on the tooth root, and it can return an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the gums. The treatment covers the exposed portion of your tooth in a way that matches the rest of your gum line. The procedure is very common and is an effective method of restoration.
As a periodontist, Dr. Israel Puterman is a specialist in procedures related to the teeth’s supporting structures, including gum grafting. Patients choose his practice because he combines years of experience with detail-oriented precision. He will take steps during your procedure to create results that look natural, promote your comfort, and help you heal quickly and safely.
The Purpose of Gum Grafting
You may have noticed that the gums around one or more of your teeth have receded, making it appear that these teeth are longer than the others. Gum recession can progress to the point that the tooth root is visible.
Several factors contribute to this condition, including aggressive teeth brushing; poor oral hygiene; naturally “thin” gum tissue; tooth crowding; an outward position of the teeth; uneven and heavy biting forces; and genetics. While gum recession is the most visible sign of damage, you will also be experiencing bone loss beneath the surface of your gums. Without intervention, damage can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Gum grafting gives patients an effective treatment option for both the aesthetic problems and structural concerns that gum recession causes. The treatment can:
- Prevent the build-up of plaque and the development of cavities in the tooth root.
- Reduce tooth sensitivity and inflammation around the teeth.
- Improve the aesthetics of teeth and contribute to a younger appearance. (This is where the expression “long in the tooth” comes from.)
- Promote the regrowth of the underlying bone.
Dr. Puterman’s Approach to Gum Grafting
As with many procedures, you can achieve a better result if you seek treatment earlier than later. By addressing gum recession sooner, Dr. Puterman can more effectively address the concern.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Puterman will examine the area of concern to determine the best approach for your treatment. Patients may have several options with gum grafting depending on their individual circumstances.
In some cases, Dr. Puterman can use either gum tissue from the roof of the mouth or donor tissue to perform gum grafting. With the first option, you will have two areas that will need to heal (the roof of the mouth and the area of recession that receives the graft). With the second option, Dr. Puterman will source the graft from donor tissue. There are some conditions that require the use of your own tissue, but his techniques with donor material provide excellent outcomes without requiring two sites to heal.
What Patients Can Expect with Gum Grafting
Dr. Puterman has extensive experience with gum grafting and other oral surgery techniques for patients. As part of his periodontal residency, his Master’s Degree thesis focused on a method to reduce post-operative discomfort after gum grafting. You can expect gentle and supportive care from him and his team.
During your procedure:
- Dr. Puterman will use minimally invasive techniques to source the material for your graft or will use donor tissue for gum grafting.
- He will take the time necessary to shape the graft in an aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking way. In most cases, patients are unable to recognize which area of the mouth received the graft once it has healed completely.
- You will receive an L-PRF treatment at the surgical site. This advanced approach speeds up the healing process and makes recovery significantly more comfortable. It is a method also used to increase healing capacity in the fields of orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, dermatology, neurology and diabetic wound healing.
- Dr. Puterman will provide you with a specific anti-inflammatory recovery regimen, using both medication and homeopathic methods clinically proven to reduce swelling after surgery.
Following gum grafting, you will have some tenderness for 3-5 days and may also experience some bruising and swelling. Dr. Puterman provides a specific form of Arnica Montana, a natural herbal remedy, to alleviate soreness after surgery as well as over-the-counter pain medication.
Most are able to return to work and other normal activities the day after their surgery.
Dr. Puterman’s treatment with gum grafting can completely cover the exposed tooth root, and the resulting tissue will be thicker than the original gums. This means that it will have less of a tendency to recede over time. The skill and artistic eye he brings to every procedure will also help you achieve a result that looks like a natural feature of your gum line, and by the time that you have healed completely, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful new smile.
If one of your teeth appears longer than normal or if you can see the tooth root, you may benefit from gum grafting. To learn more about treatment for patients, contact Dr. Puterman online or by phone at (301) 652-0939.