Posted on: 4 March 2015Share
Your gums may start to recede if your oral health history includes brushing too hard, recurring periods of dental infections, or a load of dental health problems you inherited genetically. Receding gums can impair your ability to chew or speak comfortably and can lower your self-esteem. Luckily, your dentist can help stop and reverse this gum recession using a procedure called a gum graft.
If certain parts of your gums are too thin, you might be prescribed a free gingival graft. The procedure might sound scary, from its name down to the idea of a graft. But it's relatively straightforward once you understand what's involved.
The Name Doesn't Refer to the Procedure Price
Having "free" in the name can sometimes confuse patients not fully paying attention during the diagnosis. The name doesn't refer to the cost of the procedure. It simply refers to the fact that the tissue removed for the graft was completely removed, or "freed," from its original location.
Likewise, gingival might evoke thoughts of the periodontal disease gingivitis. But gingival simply means the procedure pertains to the gums, which are also called gingiva. Specifically, it's the section of gums that surrounds the teeth and is used for chewing and general oral function.
FGG Works Best to Thicken Weak Gums
There are a few different gum graft procedures that cater to different gum recession needs. FGG is the go-to when the gums haven't experienced an extreme regression yet but are starting to show signs of thinness and weakness.
This weakness can be patched up using a bit of skin and tissue from the roof of your mouth. Using organic material from your own body speeds up the time it takes the gums to accept and combine with the new tissue. But the type of tissue taken doesn't promote massive growth in the gum tissue and thus isn't a great choice if the gums are so low the teeth roots are showing.
Graft Tissue Isn't Supposed to Connect to the Tooth
The healing process following a free gingival graft can look a bit odd -- like the procedure didn't go according to plan. It can look as though the tissue is coming apart from the tooth, even though it's still connected to the rest of the gums.
If this happens, you should definitely make an appointment to see a dentist like Southfort Dental Centre. But it's likely nothing to worry about, as the tissue isn't supposed to attach right to the tooth. The graft is made to come up just under the tooth, and during the healing process, that gap can look even more exaggerated.