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Gum Graft Specialist

Reston Dental Center

Dentists & Periodontists located in Reston, VA

When your teeth are getting all the attention, it’s easy to overlook the health of your gums. Thankfully, Reston Dental Center has you covered. If you’re suffering from gum recession, their team of dental professionals can restore your oral health with a safe and effective gum graft. To learn more, call their offices in Reston or Vienna, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online today.

Gum Graft Q & A

What is a gum graft?

A gum graft, or gingival graft, is a procedure that the team at Reston Dental Center performs to restore your oral health if your gums are receding. It involves removing the soft tissue from the roof of your mouth or another area of your gums and attaching it to the recessed areas of your smile. 

By rehabilitating your damaged gum tissue, a gum graft protects the roots of your teeth from becoming exposed. Exposed tooth roots are highly susceptible to tooth decay, more prone to abrasion, and generally more sensitive.

What are the different types of gum grafts?

There are a few different ways to perform a gum graft, depending on where in your mouth your dentist harvests your donor tissue:

Connective tissue graft

This is the most common type of gum graft. Your dentist harvests your donor tissue from the connective tissue beneath the skin on the roof of your mouth.

Free gingival graft

The donor tissue for your graft comes directly from the roof of your mouth. Your dentist typically performs this type of graft if your gum tissue is markedly thin. 

Pedicle graft

This type of gum graft involves creating a flap in your gums right next to the recessed area being treated. The flap is then moved over to cover the area of your recession and is sutured in place. Pedicle grafts are typically the most successful type of graft because they don’t cut off blood flow to any other part of your mouth. However, they require a substantial amount of gum tissue in the area around your recession.

The actual grafting procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you go home the same day as your surgery.

What is the recovery like for a gum graft?

You’ll likely need to arrange a ride home from your surgery, since you might be on pain medication immediately after your treatment.

Full recovery typically takes between one and two weeks, during which time you should switch to a soft and cold food diet to avoid irritating your gums. Until your dentist says it’s safe, you should refrain from brushing and flossing. You can keep your mouth clean with an antimicrobial mouthwash. 

You can minimize any pain or discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications.

Schedule an appointment with the team at Reston Dental Center by phone or online to get started on your gum graft today.