Gum Recession Surgery: Procedure, Recovery Time, and Benefits

Did you know that 46% of adults over the age of 30 in the United States alone have some degree of gum disease? Gum disease is actually one of the most common conditions that dentists see. Gum disease usually starts with gingivitis which can be treated by brushing and flossing. 

However, if left untreated, gingivitis can turn into a much worse condition that can lead to gum recession. Gum recession itself can lead to many dental health complications which is why gum recession surgery is so important for those who need it.

If you don’t know much about gum recession treatment, let’s take a closer look at what it is and how it works. But first, let’s see why gum recession is so dangerous in the first place and why it might happen. 

What Is Gum Recession

Many people who have receding gums usually don’t even realize that their gums are receding. This is because gum recession is a very slow process and its first stages don’t usually cause a lot of irritation. Normally, gums are supposed to be firm and pink in order to protect the roots of your teeth. 

Your gums are also very important for keeping your teeth in place. Without your gums, it would be very difficult to stay within their sockets since they would have little support. As long as you brush and floss your teeth, you will be able to stimulate blood flow to your gums and they will remain healthy.

Brushing and flossing are also important to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Tartar is a hard substance derived from plaque which is, on the other hand, a soft and sticky substance that originates from oral bacteria. Tartar tends to build on the teeth when dental hygiene practices are not followed. 

When this happens, the tartar not only can damage your teeth but your gums as well. Tartar is actually one of the major gum recession causes. Once you have gingivitis, it will get worse unless you treat it. 

One of the first symptoms of gum disease and recession you might notice is tooth sensitivity. This is because the sensitive roots of your teeth are becoming exposed. You may eventually notice that your gums are unusually red and tend to bleed easily. 

The reason for this is that your gums are inflamed, puffy, and overly sensitive. As your gum problems get worse, you may notice that you can see your dental roots because your gums have receded drastically. Gum recession at this point is dangerous because you could get harmful bacterial infections. 

What Is Gum Recession Surgery

Gum recession is usually treated with gum or gingival grafting. As mentioned before, the early stages of gum disease are treatable to avoid gum recession However, once your gums start to recede, there is not much you can do except get a gum graft.

Gum grafting involves taking soft tissue from another part of your mouth, usually the roof of your mouth, and applying it to your receded gums. Your gum specialist will do this by creating a flap that will be able to cover the exposed sections of your dental roots. While the surgery may sound invasive and painful, it is actually a quick and easy procedure. 

A gum graft usually doesn’t last any longer than an hour and a half. Once the gum specialist grafts the new tissue onto your gums, the new gums will start to grow into the old tissue. Once it is completely healed, you won’t be able to see your gum recession anymore and your dental health should be in much better shape. 

If you’re wondering, “Is gum recession surgery painful?” you shouldn’t worry. This is because, when it’s time for the procedure, your gum specialist will give you a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any discomfort. Depending on how severe your gum recession is, your dentist may need to remove some additional gingiva (gum) because it may be diseased. 

By doing this, your dentist will also be able to clean the exposed portions of your teeth that may be covered in tartar and bacteria. After your mouth is clean, the dentist will be able to begin the gum graft. The gum recession treatment cost is quite manageable as well and usually does not cost more than $1,000.

Recovering from a Gum Graft

As you recover from a gum graft, it is important to be very careful when it comes to dental care. This is because you will want your gum graft to heal properly and with as few complications as possible. As your gums heal, you will want to avoid flossing as well as eating hard foods that can scratch your gums.

Your surgeon will prescribe you antibiotics so you won’t develop an infection. To keep any swelling and inflammation down, it is recommended that you eat soft and cold foods like ice cream. While your gums are still sensitive, you should avoid brushing your teeth and instead use a special mouthwash. 

If you are a smoker, you should also try to stop smoking. This is because smoking can make the healing process take longer. You will likely feel some discomfort in the first few days after the procedure, but you can soothe any pain with OTC pain medication. 

After about two weeks, your gums should be healed and you should be able to resume your normal dental hygiene practices. 

Everything You Need to Know About Gum Recession Surgery

Gum recession is no joke. It can wreak havoc not only on your gums but also on your teeth and make you more vulnerable to dangerous infections. With gum recession surgery, your gum specialist can treat your gums and greatly improve your oral health. 

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