What Is Soft Tissue Grafting?

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Patients suffering from thinning gums, or those who have experienced significant tissue loss as a result of periodontal disease or other similar oral health condition, can benefit greatly from soft tissue grafting.

Soft Tissue Grafting

This procedure has been used by dentists to restore deteriorating gum lines for many years, and is instrumental in safeguarding patients from major afflictions. Numerous studies have found gingivitis and periodontal disease to be linked to many life-threatening illnesses, among these being cardiovascular problems, including diabetes and prolonged heart disease.

The Process of Gum Tissue Restoration

Given this, a dentist’s sole focus should be to facilitate the restoration of any degraded gum tissue, by any effective means possible. Herein is the popularity of soft tissue grafts.

It’s worth noting that receding gum lines are not always caused by the spread of severe oral diseases, as this can also occur due to improper teeth brushing habits (e.g. the use of hard-bristled brushes and the application of too much force when cleaning) and even genetic predispositions.

However, the negative consequences range from heightened tooth sensitivity, especially to hot and cold substances, to an increased risk of root decay. The latter can be extremely painful, and may ultimately require a root canal to be performed.

Why Grafting is so Beneficial

The purpose of soft tissue grafting is to counter gum line loss, and this can be conducted via a few different methods. Your dentist will decide which is best for you during the initial assessment and consultation.

The benefits afforded by grafting include covering the potentially exposed root and connected nerve endings, a marked reduction in tooth sensitivity, the forestalling of future gum tissue recession, and the aesthetic improvement of one’s teeth.

Three types of soft tissue grafting are currently used by dentists: free gingival, connective-tissue, and pedicle. The end result is the same with each method, although the procedure differs a bit among each.

Free gingival grafts entail the removal of a small strip of palate flesh (the roof of the patient’s mouth), which is then stitched to the receding gum line. Connective-tissue grafts operate the same way, although a small piece of the palate is removed underneath an incised flap; in these procedures, it is the sub epithelial tissue that is targeted for grafting.

Lastly, pedicle grafts make use of the gum line next to the affected tooth where a small flap is made and stitched. The recovery phase for the latter two grafting operations is a bit quicker, but pedicles only feature one wound, which can decrease concerns of infection.


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