The question “How do you know if you need a gum graft?” is often asked by people who meet a dentist in a social setting or at some function or another with some frequency. This is a bit surprising, considering how most people not only don’t want to see a dentist but how they never want to meet up with one in any sort of setting, dental-related or not.
For some reason, the thought of having to be treated by a dentist chills people far more than having to be treated by a medical doctor. Perhaps, though, if people would take better care of their teeth the annual visit to the dentist wouldn’t be quite so unsettling to many. Regarding the matter of gum grafts, which seem to be more common with every passing year, there are a few indicators of possible need.
For one, a person would benefit from a grafting might have a root exposed, though he or she wouldn’t be able to see it just by looking in the mirror. Generally, it’s painful to brush that exposed root. Also, a dentist might see a lot of plaque buildup on the same root or the root of the tooth may even be decayed. A good graft can cover and even protect that root from further harm.
Another good indicator that a gum graft might be called for is what dentist’s call “tooth hypersensitivity.” Just the phrase is enough to conjure an ache of the tooth, most people would say. Many times, covering that hypersensitive root area with a gum graft can help eliminate such sensations. Lastly, an exposed or decaying root can make a tooth look unattractive. A graft can help correct that.
Gum graft surgery has a high success rate and complete healing of the gum and the area of the palate from which the tissue that goes onto the gum was taken will usually take from 4 to 8 weeks. About 14 days after surgery, the tissue over that donor site will begin to thicken and pain in the area will decrease markedly.
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