This is the most common type of soft tissue graft. During the procedure, tissue is harvested from under the roof of your mouth (palate) and stitched to the gum area around exposed roots.
After this surgery, your mouth may feel numb or slightly painful, but it should heal quickly. You should eat only soft foods and liquids for a week and avoid hot or hard-to-chew foods that could irritate the site.
What is a Tissue Graft?
A tissue graft involves the removal of gum tissue from elsewhere in the mouth to thicken existing gum tissue. This type of surgery is often performed when there is root exposure due to gum disease. The new tissue will cover these roots to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms like tooth sensitivity and protect them from plaque, debris, and bacteria that can cause damage.
This type of graft is usually done using tissue from the roof of the mouth — specifically, subepithelial connective tissue. Your periodontist Austin will make a small flap in the roof of your mouth and remove this tissue, then stitch it to the area where you need it.
This procedure can also be performed with Alloderm or other grafting materials that stimulate your body’s natural ability to grow new tissue. This option is typically preferred because it reduces surgery time, surgical discomfort, and potential infection sites. Additionally, these materials have been screened and processed to limit the possibility of disease transmission.
How is a Tissue Graft Done?
Tissue grafts are made of organic material such as bone, skin, tendons, and nerves. They may also contain synthetic materials like collagen. The tissue is moved from one location in the body to another with its blood supply intact. Grafts can be autogenous (from the patient’s mouth) or allografts, which are tissue taken from a donor, most often a human, but can also be from animals such as pigs.
The most common type of graft is called a subepithelial connective tissue graft (SCTG). This type of graft uses epithelium from the roof of the mouth to cover an exposed tooth root and promote gum growth. The DNA from the donor site controls the type of epithelial tissue that grows at the new site.
This graft can help treat periodontitis by covering the roots and providing a protective barrier, reducing inflammation and preventing further damage to the teeth. It can also improve the aesthetics of your smile by creating a more natural and attractive gum line.
What is the Recovery Period Like?
During the procedure, we will numb the area of recession using local anesthesia. Then, tissue from the roof of your mouth, or an allograft biomaterial, will be moved to cover the exposed roots. Once it’s in place, it will provide a protective barrier, reducing the risk of further damage to your tooth and root and preventing further gum recession.
Your gums may be a deep red color after the surgery due to inflammation and a build-up of blood. This is normal. A few days later, your gums will appear whitish or yellowish as the surface cells die off. This is a good sign that the graft has enough blood to heal.
It’s important to follow post-op instructions. Avoid any activities that strain the graft site, and attend your follow-up appointments for monitoring and advice. During these visits, we can remove the sutures.
What Can I Expect from a Tissue Graft?
A connective tissue graft Pflugerville is a surgical procedure that involves moving some tissue, usually with its blood supply, to another site. Many tissue types, including bone, skin, nerves, tendons, and even blood vessels, can be grafted.
A soft tissue graft is most often done to treat gum recession or other cosmetic concerns, such as a “gummy smile.” Recessed gums can be aesthetically undesirable and are a risk factor for periodontitis, leading to tooth loss and additional health complications.
A gum graft can repair the problem and restore a healthy gum line, while protecting your teeth’ roots from further damage. A graft can also help to prevent sensitivity and discomfort from exposed roots. The recovery process is relatively short and simple, though patients must avoid eating hard or hot foods that could burn or irritate the new tissue. Also, a special mouth rinse will be required to keep plaque under control during the healing process.