Gum Grafting Alternatives

Everyone’s case of gum recession is not the same and the causes for gum recession vary due to a number of factors or combination of factors. Changes in your hormones, diabetes, other illnesses, and poor oral hygiene habits can cause increased risk of gum disease and in turn, gum recession. People whose gums don’t wear away due to periodontal disease may start to shrink due to genetics or family history.


Additionally, people who use tobacco products are twice as likely to have gum recession as people who do not. Your gums may be diminishing because you are too aggressive when you brush your teeth or if you are clenching your teeth while you sleep. Finally, tongue and lip piercings can irritate the gums over time leaving the gums worn away in certain areas.
If you have any of these factors affecting your dental health, you may want to talk to the dentist about making adjustments before gum grafting becomes necessary.


Gum Recession Is Serious

If the dentist has recommended gum grafting, then the dentist is taking action to prevent further gum recession and eventual bone loss. When your gums are covering your teeth properly, your teeth are less likely to be sensitive and your roots are less likely to experience decay. Visually, you will have a more even gum line and a consistent color throughout the tooth. When your roots are starting to be exposed, the color of the newly exposed area is different from the rest of your tooth. The root area does not have enamel like the rest of your tooth so it is softer and more likely to be affected by plaque. Gum recession is progressive so if it goes untreated, you may experience complete tooth loss.

Gum Graft Alternatives

1. Pinhole Surgical Technique
A newer surgery than gum grafting, this is similar to arthroscopic and laparoscopic surgeries due to the minimally invasive nature. The dentist makes small holes in the gumline, loosens the gums and moves them down to their original position. Because this is less invasive than gum grafting, it heals faster allowing you to return to your life faster.
2. Dental Scaling and Root Planing
These procedures are also called deep cleaning but they remove any plaque that has built up below the gumline and below the root line. The removal of the mineralized bacteria reduces the risk of gum disease and permanent gum recession. After these treatments, your gums will have a chance to heal back to their appropriate position.
3. Regeneration
If you have serious periodontal disease and the bone has started to deteriorate under your gums, the dentist can place a bone graft. The gums are peeled back to place the new bone tissue.
4. Gum Contouring
The dentist can perform this procedure instead of gum grafting or in addition to resulting in a reshaped smile line. The procedure involves a laser alone or in combination with a scalpel on someone who has been given local anesthesia. The reshaping of your gums can leave you with a fresh, more even smile. With the gum contouring, the shape of the pockets where the gums meet the tooth can be changed allowing you to clean them better with your at home dental care routine.


How Painful is Gum Grafting