Soft Tissue Graft

Gum recession often requires soft tissue grafting. Periodontal disease, trauma, aging, brushing over, and poor tooth positioning are the leading causes of gum recession, which in severe cases can result in tooth-root exposure. When the teeth’s roots are exposed, it can be uncomfortable to eat hot and cold foods, decay is more prevalent and the smile’s aesthetic appearance is altered. The main objective of soft tissue grafting is either to cover the exposed root or to thicken the existing gum tissue to stop further loss of tissue.

The three different types of common soft tissue grafts include :

Free gingival graft –A tissue strip is removed from the mouth’s roof and stitched to the grafting site for natural growth. Most commonly, this type of graft is used to thicken existing tissue.

Connective tissue graft

Subepithelial tissue is required to remedy the problem for larger areas or root exposure. This subepithelial connective tissue is removed in the mouth from a small flap and sutured to the site of grafting. This is the most common root exposure treatment.

Pedicle graft

The “sharing” of soft tissue between the affected site and adjacent gum involves this type of graft. A tissue flap is partially cut off and laterally moved to cover the root. The results of this type of graft are excellent because there are blood vessels left in place in the tissue that is moved to the adjacent area.

Reasons for soft tissue grafting

Soft tissue grafting has many uses and is an extremely versatile procedure. Recent developments in dental technology have increased the predictability and intrusiveness of soft tissue grafting. Some of the main advantages of soft tissue grafting treatment are as follows:

Increased comfort

Root Exposure can cause significant pain and discomfort. It can cause severe discomfort to eat hot, cold or even warm food. Soft tissue grafts cover the root that is exposed, decrease sensitivity and restore good gum health.

Improved aesthetics

Due to periodontal disease, gum recession can cause the smile to look “toothy” or the teeth to appear uneven in size. Soft tissue grafting can be used to re-augment the gums as a cosmetic procedure, making the smile more symmetrical.

Improved gum health

Periodontal disease is a gradual condition that can very quickly destroy soft tissue. Soft tissue grafting can halt tissue and bone loss when used in combination with deep cleaning procedures and protect exposed roots from further complications.

What does soft tissue grafting treatment involve?

Initially, to clear the teeth and roots of calculus (tartar), deep cleaning will be performed both above and below the gum line. The procedure of grafting itself will generally be carried out under local anesthetic, but this will depend on the size of the areas receiving grafts. To create a small pocket, a small incision will be made at the recipient site. This pocket contains a split thickness incision and the donor tissue is placed between the two sections of this area. The strip of donor tissue is usually larger than the incision, so there will be some excess.

Platelet-rich growth factors can be applied to the site before suturing to stimulate natural tissue growth and promote good healing. Additionally, proteins that stimulate tissue may be added to encourage faster growth of tissue. Finally, to prevent shifting, the wound site will be sutured and surgical material placed to protect the sensitive area. In the first six weeks after the procedure, gum uniformity and substantial healing will occur.

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