If you have advanced gum disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for gum graft surgery. One result of gum disease is that it causes your gums to recede. As the gums pull away from your teeth, it makes the roots of your teeth and your jaw bone susceptible to infection that can lead to tooth loss. Having the surgery may save your teeth and reverse the gum disease. Here are a few things to know about having gum surgery.

When A Gum Graft Is Indicated

In the early stages of gum disease, your dentist has more options for treatment. However, once your gums pull away from your teeth, surgery is often the best solution. Receding gums expose the roots of your teeth. This causes tooth sensitivity that causes pain when you eat or drink something that is cold or hot. In addition, receding gums affect the appearance of your smile. More of your enamel shows, so it looks like your teeth are longer than usual. If only a few teeth are affected, it makes the length of your teeth seem uneven. A gum graft is done to replace the gum that has receded. The new gum covers the exposed root enamel so the appearance is of a shorter tooth that looks more normal.

How A Gum Graft Is Done

There are a couple of ways your periodontist can perform a gum graft. If your gums are still fairly healthy, and you have plenty of gum tissue available, the dentist may remove some of the healthy gum and reposition it over the exposed tooth root. This can only be done if taking the donor gum tissue won't put you at further risk of gum recession.

Another option is for the dentist to remove tissue from the roof of your mouth. The top layer may be peeled back and tissue taken from under it, or the dentist may remove deeper layers as well as some of the top layer. It depends on how much tissue is needed to repair your teeth. When the new tissue is attached, it is secure against your teeth. This eliminates pockets that form before recession begins. Eliminating pockets also reduces the amount of bacteria that can build up on your teeth and gums, and this reduces your risk for redeveloping periodontal disease.

What To Expect During Recovery

You'll have some pain in your mouth after the surgery. The roof of your mouth may feel like it was burned by hot food. Over-the-counter medications should be strong enough to relieve your discomfort. To prevent irritation and compounding your pain, you'll want to eat a soft diet for several days until your gum surgery heals. However, you'll be able to resume your usual activities right away. It will probably take a few weeks until your mouth has fully healed from the procedure.

Some instances of gum disease are caused by medical problems or genetic conditions. Many cases are caused by poor oral hygiene that allows plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth. Gum disease advances gradually, and it can often be reversed by dental cleaning in the early stages. Therefore, the most important thing you can to do prevent the return of gum disease after you've had a gum graft is to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist on a regular basis.

For more information, visit websites like http://www.thefamilydentist-lakeland.com.