Soft Tissue GraftConcord & Lexington, MA

Gum recession is one of the most noticeable results of periodontal disease (gum disease) and is the movement of the gum line down the root of a tooth.

Recession can be limited to one tooth or many, and symptoms vary from none to root sensitivity, inflammation of the tissues, root exposure, cavities, or esthetic concerns. Repairing gum recession is important because gum tissue is the primary barrier to bacteria.

Without adequate gum tissue around the teeth, bacteria can cause gum disease, bone and gum deterioration, and even tooth loss. Receiving a soft tissue graft in our Concord or Lexington, MA office can restore your gum health and appearance. Soft tissue grafts have a high success rate when performed by experienced oral surgeons like the ones at Concord Lexington Periodontics. Combined with proper aftercare, you can expect beautiful results from our gum grafting procedures.

In addition to providing soft tissue grafts, we offer dental surgical procedures to new and existing patients.  

Soft Tissue Graft services at Concord Lexington Periodontics

Benefits of a Soft Tissue Graft in Concord and Lexington, MA

Soft tissue grafts offer many benefits that can improve your oral health and enhance the appearance of your smile. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Enhancing smile appeal: Gum recession can create an uneven gum line or expose too much tooth surface. Many people are embarrassed by this and feel it detracts from the beauty of their smile. Soft tissue gum grafts can lower the gum line to restore a balanced and symmetrical gum line, improving the aesthetic appeal of your smile.
  • Preventing further gum recession: Gum recession can expose teeth’s root surfaces, leading to tooth sensitivity, an increased risk of root decay, and an unsightly appearance. Soft tissue grafts can effectively cover these exposed root surfaces, protecting them from further recession and potential damage.
  • Improving gum health: Gum grafts can increase the amount of gum tissue firmly attached to the underlying bone. This enhances the overall health and stability of the gum tissue, reducing the risk of periodontal disease and promoting long-term gum health.
  • Reducing sensitivity: Exposed root surfaces can cause significant tooth sensitivity, making it uncomfortable to consume hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages. Soft tissue grafts can effectively cover these sensitive areas, relieving discomfort.
  • Improving oral hygiene: Soft tissue grafts can facilitate better oral hygiene practices by restoring adequate gum tissue coverage, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas and maintain optimal oral health.

Types of Soft Tissue Grafts

There are three types of gum grafting surgery. Which type your dentist uses will depend on each person’s unique situation and specific needs.

Connective-Tissue Grafts

Connective-tissue grafts are the most common form of gum grafts. They are used to treat root exposure around one or more teeth. During the procedure, the dentist will cut a flap of skin from the roof of your mouth and remove tissue from under the flap.

The flap is then stitched back down. The removed tissue will then be stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. Over time, the attached tissue will grow with the gum tissue already there, forming a higher gumline around the tooth.

Free Gingival Grafts

Free gingival grafts are similar to connective tissue grafts except that instead of cutting a flap to remove tissue underneath, a small amount of tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth. This tissue is then placed and attached directly to the treated gum area. Dentists prefer this method for those who have naturally thin gums.

Pedicle Grafts

The pedicle graft method does not take graft tissue from the roof of the mouth. Instead, the gum tissue is grafted from gum tissue around the tooth needing repair. In this method, the flap (called a pedicle) is partially cut away so that one edge remains attached.

The flap is pulled up (lower jaw) or down (upper jaw) to cover the exposed root and sewn in place. This method is preferred for patients with plenty of gum tissue near the tooth needing repair.

In addition to natural grafts from the patient, some dentists prefer to use graft material from a tissue bank.

Recovery and Aftercare for Soft Tissue Graft Patients

After the procedure, you will be able to go home. However, if we give you a sedative to relax, you need a friend or family member to drive you. Be sure to follow all instructions your doctor gives you for post-operative care.

The recovery period following a soft tissue graft will vary for every patient. It depends on the scope of the surgery and your unique healing process. Here are the general guidelines we recommend for a successful recovery:

  • Rest and relaxation: For the first few days after the procedure, it’s essential to take it easy and avoid vigorous activities to allow the surgical site to heal properly.
  • Oral hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is vital during the recovery period. Do not floss or brush the treated gum line until the area has healed. We will give you a special mouthwash to help control plaque during this time. After that, you will want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the surgical area gently. We will help you with this transition at your checkups.
  • Diet modifications: To avoid irritating the surgical site, we recommend that you follow a soft, nutritious diet for the initial healing period, about a week. You must limit your diet and only consume soft foods such as eggs, pasta, Jell-O, and yogurt.
  • Pain management: You should expect some discomfort or swelling after the procedure. However, pain varies from patient to patient. It depends on many variables, including pain tolerance and the type of gum graft performed. Your doctor will likely recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or, in rare cases, a prescription pain medication to alleviate any discomfort. Many patients can return to work within a day or two.
  • Follow-up appointments: You must attend your regular follow-up appointments with your doctor, as they are essential to monitoring the healing process and ensuring proper integration of the graft.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn More About a Soft Tissue Graft in Lexington and Concord, MA

Renew your gum health with a soft tissue graft. At Concord Lexington Periodontics, we ensure that patients feel comfortable throughout treatment, no matter their needs. Call our Concord office at 978.391.6081 or our Lexington office at 781.384.5892.