What Is Tissue Grafting?


If you’ve noticed lately that your teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, or if they are beginning to look longer than before, your gums may be receding, leaving a portion of the tooth root area exposed. Your trusted team at Main Street Dental Smiles may recommend tissue grafting to restore your gum health and improve the appearance of your smile.

Why Do Gums Recede?

Gum recession usually results from periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. If gingivitis goes untreated, the gums start pulling away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets that provide a breeding ground for bacteria. As the chronic condition progresses, it damages the bone and tissue supporting the teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss. The gums also shrink or recede, exposing the tooth roots and leaving your teeth looking longer.

Other factors contributing to gum recession include genetic makeup, poor dental hygiene, aggressive tooth brushing, smoking or using tobacco products, and certain illnesses. Gums can also recede due to misaligned teeth, dental trauma, chronic clenching and grinding (bruxism), and prior orthodontic treatment. 

What Is Tissue Grafting?

Tissue grafting is a procedure designed to cover your exposed tooth roots and restore the appearance of your smile. It involves using healthy tissue to build the gum back where it receded, restoring your natural gum line, and protecting your tooth structure and placement. The method we will recommend will depend on your unique needs.

Here are the leading types of tissue grafts: 

Connective-tissue grafts: This is the most common way to treat tooth root exposure and is recommended when there is insufficient gum tissue near the treatment area. It involves creating a flap on the roof of the mouth and removing tissue from under it, called subepithelial connective tissue, then reattaching the flap. The last step is attaching the connective tissue to the area surrounding the exposed tooth root.

Free gingival grafts: Similar to connective tissue grafting, this procedure involves obtaining tissue from the roof of the mouth. However, instead of making a flap and extracting some tissue from under it, we remove tissue directly from the roof of the mouth and attach it to the target area. Free gingival grafts are ideal for patients with thin gums in need of additional tissue to enlarge them.

Pedicle grafts: This procedure involves removing tissue from gum around or near the tooth requiring repair, rather than using tissue from the roof of the mouth. Pedicle grafts only work if there is plenty of gum tissue in the area.

Tissue Grafting in Whitesboro, TX

Visit Main Street Dental Smiles to learn more about tissue grafting, the innovative procedure designed to restore healthy gums and beautiful smiles. Dr. Schilling, our acclaimed prosthodontist, is committed to utilizing the latest technology and techniques to ensure the best possible treatment outcomes. You can always trust her for exceptional, gentle care. Call us at 903-564-3451 to schedule your appointment today!

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