Cosmetic gum surgery is a dental procedure that is intended to correct the effect of gum recession. Cosmetic gum surgery is relatively simple compared to other kinds of dental procedures. Gums may recede for a variety of reasons and this can affect the quality of your smile. The most common reason for gum recession is gum disease that is caused by a bacterial infection. If not treated, the disease often leads to complete loss of the tooth.
After gum disease has been treated, a patient may want to have the receded gum restored for cosmetic reasons or to protect the exposed tooth. Exposed teeth can lead to sensitivity and pain when taking hot or cold food.
Cosmetic gum surgery involves taking tissue from other parts of the mouth and grafting it on to the gum area. This procedure is known as connective tissue grafts. To ensure that no areas in the roof of the mouth are left without tissue, the dentist will often remove the inner layers of tissue and then stitch back the outer layers of the mouth roof once they have removed the tissue that they require.
The second method of cosmetic gum surgery is known as the free gingival graft and this is popular with patients who require an extra amount of gum tissue to enlarge their gums. Under this process, the periodontist removes the tissue from the top layer of the roof of the mouth and stitches it into the gum area.
The third approach is what is known as the lateral graft were the periodontist takes the gum from the area near the affected area and uses it to cover the exposed area. A variation of this is where the dentist also cuts one side of the gum and then stretches the tissue up or down to cover the exposed area before stitching it up. Lateral grafts are good for people who have a lot of gum tissue around the exposed teeth and is relatively easier than most of the other procedures.
Things to Note
While the procedure is relatively straight forward, it is important for the patient not to drive himself or herself after the operation. This is because the drugs that the dentist will have given the patient to reduce discomfort may not have worn off and may affect the patient’s ability to drive. As the wound is healing, it is also important for the patient not to brush the treated area until it heals. The patient can use special mouthwash with antibacterial properties that will control the build-up of bacteria over the healing period. The other important thing to note is that patients must not take hard to chew food or smoke. The dentist is likely to also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and it is important to follow through on them as prescribed. Finally, it helps for the patient to avoid strenuous tasks during the healing period that may tear the stitches and re-open the wound. If you are looking for a highly experienced dentist to perform cosmetic gum surgery, reach out to Dr. Alex Rubinov. Dr. Rubinov is a professional and licensed New York City dentist with years of experience. Contact his practice at (718) 253-0800 for an appointment.