Gum Graft Surgery & Cosmetic Gum Contouring
in Cabot, AR
Too much or too little gum tissue can get in the way of an otherwise beautiful smile. If you’re in this situation and looking for a treatment that can help, cosmetic gum contouring and grafting may be exactly what you need.
Located in Cabot AR, the practice of Samuel F. Jirik, DDS is proud to provide comprehensive dental care to patients in the Ward, Beebe, Jacksonville, Sherwood, Vilonia, and Little Rock areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to get some more information about our practice. Dial 1 (501) 843-9561 to reach our Cabot, AR office and speak with our staff!
Why is it important to treat receding gums?
When your gums recede, this exposes more of the tooth root, which is normally covered by the gums. Now your teeth look longer. Because the roots are exposed, those teeth with gum recession will be more sensitive to hot and cold, and to sweet or spicy foods. Gum recession is frequently the result of gum disease, as the infected gums are forming pockets and pulling away from the teeth. It can also be due to overly aggressive tooth brushing or improper brushing technique. It's important to treat this, as the end result is full gum disease and tooth loss.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
Cosmetic gum contouring and gum graft have some obvious, impactful aesthetic advantages — normalizing the amount of gums that you have can make your smile look more uniform and radiant. But these procedures go beyond the cosmetic; gum contouring and gum grafts have a variety of health benefits, too. These procedures can help reduce your risk of gingivitis and in some cases, help combat tooth sensitivity.
How Can A Gum Graft Prevent Tooth Loss?
Gum grafts are almost always successful at returning coverage to the tooth roots that have become exposed through gum recession. The grafted gum tissue easily establishes itself in its grafted location.
In addition to stopping additional gum recession and exposure of the tooth roots, gum grafts can reduce tooth sensitivity and protect the roots from root decay. This is because the formerly exposed root surfaces now have adequate gum coverage again. Gum grafts from Dr. Jirik will also give you a more contoured, even gumline.
Who is a candidate for gum contouring surgery?
See What Our Patients Have To Say...
"I LOVE everyone at Dr. Jirik’s office! I have been going to them for 11 years and always receive top-quality dental care and have a great experience."
- Ida M.
"Dr. J and his staff are all so gracious, kind, and caring! They take care of everything you need and make sure you feel great while you're their. I would recommend this practice and Dr. J. to every person looking to have dental work done. Do not dread another dental appointment! Give them a call!"
- Jon LC.
Gum Disease and Systemic Health
Gum Graft vs. Gum Contouring
Dr. Jirik uses a Diode laser for all of our practice’s cosmetic gum contouring procedures. This process is gentle and virtually painless. Because the laser cauterizes the gum as it removes it, it also involves very little bleeding and a short healing process.
How is a gum graft done with Dr. Jirik?
These procedures are typically performed in our offices on Main Street in Cabot. Local anesthesia is used. Depending on your unique needs, Dr. Jirik will perform your grafting procedure in one of three ways:
- Free gingival graft — Dr. Jirik removes a small piece of gum tissue from the roof of your mouth, and this tissue is stitched into place where needed to cover recession.
- Connective tissue graft — Dr. Jirik opens a small flap in the roof of your mouth. He then removes a piece of connective tissue from under the top outer layer of tissue. The connective tissue is stitched into the needed location. This is the most common grafting technique.
- Pedicle graft — This method creates a flap of tissue in an area adjacent to your gum recession and uses this flap to cover the area of the receding gum tissue. Because the tissue used in a pedicle graft is not disconnected from its blood supply, it tends to create the most successful grafting. However, the patient needs to have ample gum tissue in the areas around their gum recession.
These methods don’t take long. Once Dr. Jirik has sutured your graft into position, you’ll wash out your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. We’ll then go over how you need to care for your new gum graft.
How Long Will It Take My Gum Graft To Heal?
Healing is much faster than most people assume. Dr. Jirik will prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure. Most patients are fully healed in just one to two weeks. Most people can return to work the day after their gum grafting.
How Long Does Swelling Last After Gum Graft Surgery?
There will be swelling. It will usually peak around the third day and will fully resolve after a week, although it can last as long as 10 days. You can help to mitigate this by diligently using ice. Apply the ice bag to the side of your face where the surgery was performed. Hold the ice bag in place for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 48 hours. It also helps to sleep with your head elevated for the first two or three days. If your swelling continues to grow after three days, or if the area feels hot and is red, we need to hear from you immediately. After three days (two days of icing and one extra day), moist heat (heating pad, etc.) can be applied to the area to reduce residual swelling.
Is Gum Grafting Painful?
Thanks to modern local anesthesia, you’ll feel nothing during the procedure. If Dr. Jirik has used gum tissue from the roof of your mouth for the grafts, you will have some discomfort for a few days after your surgery. For an idea of how this will feel, we’ve heard the feeling described as being akin to that of a major pizza burn (from biting overly hot pizza). Patients usually find over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication is adequate to keep them comfortable, but Dr. Jirik will also prescribe some pain medication. The palate of your mouth and your new gum grafts will heal quickly, usually in just a week or two.
Are There Any Foods I Will Need To Avoid After Having A Gum Graft?
You cannot eat or drink anything for three hours after your surgery. From there, you need to eat liquid foods for seven days, moving to soft/liquid foods for the next three weeks. Don’t eat anything that can get caught in the surgery site or tear your stitches. No chips, nuts, rice, popcorn, and the like. Avoid hot foods and drinks and food that requires active chewing while your mouth is still numb. Stay away from hot food and drinks for another two weeks. Protein/nutritional drinks are a good idea, as are smoothies and foods such as yogurt. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Is Gum Grafting Permanent?
Once the grafted gum tissue successfully takes to its new locations, these are permanent. As long as you follow a regimen of attentive home oral hygiene your gum grafts will be there for the long haul.
Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that new gum problems cannot develop, but more attentive care will usually prevent that.
Schedule A Gum Graft Consultation in Cabot, AR!
Interested in either of these procedures, but still not sure if you’re a candidate? Don’t hesitate — contact Samuel F. Jirik, DDS today by calling 501-843-9561 or by clicking here to send us an Email Contact Form. We can get you set up with a consultation appointment, during which Dr. Jirik will examine the condition of your gums and help you decide if either of these procedures is right for you.