How Do You Get Exposed Roots Covered?
When your gums recede, the roots become exposed, which leads to several different issues. Your periodontist can cover the exposed roots with a gum graft.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Gum recession can be the result of one of a couple issues. One of the most common causes of recession is advanced gum disease, which occurs when bacteria fall below the gum line.
The bacteria cause infection of the gums, and can then start attacking the jawbone and teeth. Another cause of recession is bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth.
What Issues Do Receding Gums Cause?
When your gums recede, a few things can happen. First, the exposed roots are left open to the air and anything you put in your mouth. You may experience extreme sensitivity to temperature changes, which can be rather painful. With more surface area exposed, your teeth are at greater risk for developing decay. And, without the gums securely around your teeth, the teeth can become loose and may fall out.
If your gums have receded, your periodontist may suggest a gum graft. With this surgical procedure, your periodontist takes tissue from elsewhere in your mouth (most commonly the roof) and stitches it over the affected areas. There are three types of gum grafts:
- Connective-tissue graft. With this procedure, a small flap is made at the roof of your mouth and tissue removed from underneath it. That tissue is placed over your exposed roots and the flap is stitched closed.
- Free gingival graft. The tissue is taken directly from the roof of your mouth.
- Pedicle graft. Your periodontist may choose to use surrounding healthy gum tissue to cover exposed roots. The tissue is cut, rearranged and stitched in place.
If necessary, your periodontist may instead choose to use donor tissue. After an initial consultation, the two of you will discuss the best course of action.
A gum graft restores receded gum tissue. As you heal, the tissue grows into the surrounding gum tissue and around the roots, forming a natural, healthy gum line, protecting your gums and your teeth while giving you back your beautiful smile. Contact our office to learn if a gum graft is right for you.