When Do Gum Grafts Become Necessary?

Gum Grafts and Gum Recession

When do gum grafts become necessary? What can you do to prevent them? Our team at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies is dedicated to helping you maintain optimum oral health.  The health of your gums requires that you do all you can to keep them healthy. Gums protect the roots of your teeth and the bone that keep your teeth firmly in place.  Gum grafts become necessary when gum recession has become severe enough to expose the roots of your teeth. Dedication to good oral health care, coupled with regular visits to your dentist, can help keep your gums healthy. Learn about the common causes of gum recession and the benefits of gum grafts if they become necessary.


Why Are Gum Grafts Sometimes Necessary?

The condition of your gums is an integral part of the health and beauty of your smile. Gums anchor your teeth to the jaw, and protect its roots from plaque and bacteria consumption. When the gums deteriorate and start to recede, it negatively affects your teeth and your total body wellness. Gum recession is defined as a condition where the tissue that surrounds your teeth pulls away, exposing the tooth root. This exposed tooth and tooth root can impact the health of the supporting bone. Bone deterioration can lead to tooth sensitivity (especially with hot and cold temperatures) and eventual tooth loss.  Periodontal treatment may be recommended to return your gums to optimal health to safeguard you from losing your teeth


How Common is Gum Recession?

Gum recession is a common dental problem affecting 4% to 12% of adults. The problem with gum recession is the process is gradual and usually painless.  You don’t realize you have a problem until it is in an advanced stage.  To restore the tooth’s health, and prevent further dental damage, a gum tissue graft may be needed. Severe gum recession requires gum graft surgery – which the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP)  supports for the repair of the wounded area, and also as a method to prevent additional infection.


What Periodontal Treatments Do We Offer for Gum Recession?

Depending on the severity of your gum recession, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies  offers several different options to meet your needs. The most minimally invasive treatment is always the one that we consider first, but at times a more aggressive approach is needed. Here are some examples of surgical periodontal treatment options for your gum recession:

  • Gum pocket reduction–decreases vulnerability to infection and halts the progression of periodontal disease
  • Bone grafting–done in preparation for dental implant placement
  • Gingival grafting–performed to cover an exposed tooth root or to treat extreme gum recession

Gum grafts work to halt the progress of gum recession and bone loss by protecting your teeth and teeth roots from root decay. Gum grafts also offer you cosmetic benefits because they result in a more balanced, even gumline. There are different types of gum grafts that patients can receive based on the severity of their gum recession.  During your comprehensive examination, we will go over your options for care and help you determine a treatment plan that you are comfortable with.


How Can You Prevent the Need for a Gum Graft?

Preventing gum recession and the need for a gum graft requires that you understand what puts you at risk for gum recession in the first place.  Here are some of the common conditions/habits/traits that put you at risk for gum recession:

  • Periodontal disease (gum disease); heavy plaque and tartar buildup
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Genetics
  • Hormone changes
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco use: (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that smokers are 4x more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers. )
  • Improper teeth brushing (or tools)
  • Teeth grinding/clenching


If you struggle with any of the above risks for gum recession, act now by contacting a member of our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies team today to put a prevention plan in place. The efforts you make now to prevent gum recession and gum grafts will be worth it!


Don’t Delay, Call for a Consultation Today!

While gum recession and the possibility of gum grafts may be something you don’t want to think about or do anything about, failure to act can result in more extensive needs and treatments in the future.  Act right when you are aware of a problem. Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies provides both nonsurgical and surgical periodontal treatments, which are recommended based on your assessed dental condition and what you hope to achieve. If you think you may need periodontal treatment and would like to know more about the procedures we provide, or if you need to make an appointment with one of our dentists, please call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-6101. For your convenience, you can also reach us online by submitting a contact or appointment request using the form below.