Gum recession is one of the most common periodontal concerns that people in Oakville have. More than the occasional tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, and the appearance of longer teeth, gum recession has more serious consequences. As gum tissue recedes, protection for teeth also degrades, to the point that tooth roots become exposed.
Gum grafting is the most widely recommended treatment for gum recession. By patching healthy tissue where the gums have receded, your periodontist can restore the health of your gums and their ability to protect your teeth.
Clearly, gum grafting is one of the most crucial periodontal treatments. But like any treatment, their success depends on the skill level and experience of your periodontist. Along with this and other health factors, gum grafts carry the risk of failure. This risk highlights the importance of not only choosing the right periodontist in Oakville, but maintaining good oral health.
Are you preparing for gum grafting in Oakville? As part of getting yourself ready, it’s helpful to know about the risk of gum graft failure, and what you can do to avoid this. In this guide, our periodontists break down the risk of gum graft failure and how this can be mitigated.
What is gum grafting?
Earlier, we mentioned that gum grafting treats gum recession. In this procedure, your Oakville periodontist will harvest tissue from the roof of your mouth or the layer of connective tissue underneath, or healthy gum tissue adjacent to the treatment site.
Then, they will graft or attach that tissue onto the area where your gum line has receded and the roots of your teeth have been exposed. Essentially, gum grafting increases the coverage of exposed tooth roots, and thickens existing gum tissue to prevent gum recession from recurring.
Can gum grafts fail?
We’ll get straight to the point: yes, gum grafts can fail. However, keep in mind that gum graft failure is not a common occurrence, and many people actually enjoy the benefits of a successful gum graft for a long time.
Why do gum grafts fail?
Gum grafts can fail due to a few reasons. These include the degree of gum recession, oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, and the procedure itself. Let’s take a closer look at these risk factors:
Degree of Gum Recession
Gum graft failure largely depends on the degree of recession and how healthy your surrounding gum tissues are. Minimal gum recession that doesn’t cause loss of gum tissue between the teeth have the highest success rates of gum grafting. This is because minimal gum recession can be reversed with complete root coverage.
Meanwhile, when gum recession is moderate to severe without loss of tissue in between the teeth, gum grafting can still be highly successful. Gum graft failure often happens when gum tissue in between the teeth has also receded. Long-term root coverage can be hard to achieve.
Oral Hygiene and Lifestyle
Other common causes of gum graft failure are related to your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits.
First, remember that one of the common causes of gum recession is aggressive brushing. If you recently underwent gum grafting, you will need to avoid disturbing the treatment site it recovers. Once it heals, you can resume brushing all your teeth properly and carefully. Try a gentle brushing technique to avoid damaging the gum graft.
Similarly, if gum recession was caused by teeth grinding, you will need to wear a night guard after your gum grafting surgery, for a period prescribed by your periodontist. This will alleviate pressure on your gums and teeth, and help prevent gum recession from recurring.
Next, avoid smoking. This is one of the most crucial post-op instructions that your periodontist will provide. This is because nicotine inhibits blood flow to the gums, which allows the graft to heal. If you continue to smoke during recovery, your gum graft can fail.
Quality of the Gum Grafting Procedure
Your periodontist, and their skill level and experience can greatly influence the outcome of your gum grafting procedure. Choosing a less experienced periodontist can lead to complications and gum graft failure. Along with choosing the right periodontist for your procedure in Oakville, make sure to follow their post-op instructions about avoiding disturbances to the treatment area.
Remember that gum grafting is highly technique-sensitive, so a highly skilled periodontist with a proven technique is more likely to deliver the ideal outcome. This includes properly positioning the graft. If the graft is simply placed over the exposed roots of a misaligned tooth, it can fail, since the cause of the recession wasn’t addressed first. A misaligned bite should be treated first before gum grafting is performed.
Signs of Gum Graft Failure
A failed gum graft can be easy to detect. Your periodontist will inform you of signs to watch out for, such as a large patch of white tissue or the graft appearing to be falling off. When this happens, it means the transplanted tissue has lost its blood supply, leading to its “death”.
Another sign of a failed gum graft is an infection. If there is pus coming out of the graft, it is most likely infected and will require treatment right away. Pus appears like a thick yellow fluid leaking out of the surgical site. Your periodontist will prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection from progressing and prevent graft failure.
Depending on the signs of failure, your periodontist may recommend leaving the graft on while the surrounding gum tissue heals; in other cases, they may remove it right away.
Treat and Avoid Gum Graft Failure with Periodontal Associates
While you’ve seen how gum grafts can fail, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t always happen. In fact, it’s highly preventable if you follow your periodontist’s instructions and keep your gums healthy at home. More importantly, choosing the right periodontist in Oakville can significantly reduce the risk of graft failure, thanks to their use of the right tools and proven techniques.
On the rare occasion that your gum grafting procedure in Oakville didn’t work, it’s crucial to call Periodontal Associates right away. Our periodontists are here to help and address issues with your gum graft. With prompt attention, they can decide on the best course of action and prevent gum recession from recurring. Our periodontists can make sure that you get the best possible outcome from gum grafting.
Are you worried that your recent gum graft failed, or do you need more information about avoiding gum graft failure? We’re here to help. Get in touch with our periodontists in Oakville today for successful gum grafting.