A Gum Graft Can Improve the Appearance and Health of Your Smile

If you are experiencing gum recession or areas where your dental roots have become visible, a gum graft can be used to improve the gum line and transform the look of your smile. Other indications you may benefit from this procedure include dental sensitivity centered around one or more teeth. Dr. Chad LaCour performs periodontal procedures at his practice in Baton Rouge, LA, using gentle, advanced techniques.

When is a Gum Graft Necessary?

There are several factors to consider when determining if a gum graft is right for you. Dr. LaCour will perform an initial consultation to evaluate your oral health and assess your concerns regarding your gum line. Some indications you may need gum treatment could include:

  • Receding gums: Gum recession occurs due to a variety of factors, including genetics and brushing habits. A classic symptom of recession involves tissue pulling away from the tooth, exposing the root surfaces.
  • An uneven gum line: Irregularities in the gum line can be caused by several factors, including genetics, hygiene habits, or an uneven bite.
  • Visible tooth roots: If you begin to see the roots of your teeth, you could have gum recession. This can be due to a wide range of influences and can occur gradually over time.

Advancements in dentistry have provided a wide range of procedures that can successfully correct periodontal issues.

Types of Corrective Gum Procedures

Modern technology has provided a wide range of procedures that can successfully correct gum issues. Whether your goal is to improve the aesthetics of your smile or preserve health and function, Dr. LaCour can work with you to determine which of these options is right for you:

Connective Tissue Graft

This type of graft involves adding tissue to the area where you are deficient, and repositioning your existing gum tissue over it. Traditional methods require taking the graft from the patient’s palate. However, advanced technology allows us to use graft material purchased from a tissue bank. A connective tissue graft effectively covers the tooth roots, and blends in with surrounding areas, resulting in a beautiful smile.

Free Gingival Graft

This type of tissue graft increases keratinized (hard) tissue around your teeth, effectively “bulking up” thin gum tissue. A free gingival graft is usually placed in areas that do not show when you smile, where aesthetics is not a primary objective. Much like the connective tissue grafting procedure, advanced methods often allow us to purchase the graft from a tissue bank rather than harvesting it from the palate.

Illustration of recessed vs. healthy gumes

As gum recession worsens, it can become easily recognizable. 

What to Expect During a Gum Graft Procedure

On the day of your procedure, you will be taken to one of our treatment rooms. Our staff will be available to address any questions or concerns you have before proceeding. The procedure will generally follow some common steps:

  • Anesthesia: Dr. LaCour will administer local anesthesia to numb your gums and keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • Site Preparation: Once you are comfortable, small incisions will be made to prepare your gums for the tissue graft. You will most likely feel some degree of pressure but you should not experience any pain.
  • Graft Placement: The tissue graft will be prepared in a sterile environment and then placed in the surgical site.
  • Stitches: The gum graft will be secured with stitches. Some stitches dissolve on their own, and some must be removed.
  • Recovery: Resting at home for the first 24 to 48 hours can help to expedite healing, and we recommend abstaining from exercise for at least two days. Some swelling and bruising is normal, but can be alleviated with cold compresses applied to the external surface of the surgical site. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, will also help with any discomfort.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you notice irregularities in your smile, schedule a visit to see if a gum graft could improve your oral health. Contact us online, or call us at (225) 757-8450.

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