A soft tissue graft is a surgical procedure to attach new, healthy gum tissue to areas where gum recession has caused tooth roots to become exposed. This gum recession could result from a number of things, but the most common causes are as follows: [1,2]
- Dental procedures or tools that damaged the gum line, such as poorly fitting partial dentures
- Gingivitis/periodontal disease
- Brushing teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Smoking and other tobacco use
During a soft tissue graft procedure, which is also known as gum graft surgery, your periodontal surgeon will remove healthy tissue from an area such as your palate and suture it over the areas where your gums have receded. 
You may need a soft tissue graft for any or all of the following reasons:
1. You are Experiencing Pain from Exposed Roots
Even mild gum recession may lead to tooth pain or heat and cold sensitivity. Severe recession often makes eating and drinking almost unbearable.
Thankfully, covering up exposed roots with gum graft surgery protects the sensitive nerves of the teeth and can reduce pain and sensitivity.
2. You Aren’t Happy With Your Gums’ Appearance, How a Cosmetic Dentist in Rochester NY Can Help
One of the main reasons people choose cosmetic dentistry in Rochester, NY, is that they are unhappy with the way their teeth or gums look.
Gum recession can cause the gum line to look uneven and unhealthy. When tooth roots are exposed, the teeth appear elongated, which detracts from otherwise beautiful smiles.
Building up the damaged gum line with new tissue solves this problem and returns your smile to its original healthy appearance.
3. Your Dentist Recommends a Soft Tissue Graft to Prevent Further Damage
Unfortunately, having severely receded gums and exposed roots can lead to more problems down the road. Bone loss and tooth decay become risks when the gums are no longer sufficiently protecting the most sensitive parts of your teeth.
If your dentist notices that your gum recession has
- accelerated or become more severe,
- or that you already have some damage to the bone beneath,
he or she will likely recommend that you get a soft tissue graft. Getting the procedure done early, as opposed to waiting until your dental problems become worse, can slow or even prevent damage down the line.
It’s worth noting that, while there are a few separate reasons you may choose to have the surgery, a gum graft will address all of them at once. If you follow your dentist’s advice and receive a soft tissue graft to prevent tooth decay, bone loss, and further gum erosion, you will likely be pleasantly surprised at how much more even your smile looks and how you can easily drink cold beverages without pain.
Book an appointment today for Cosmetic Dentistry in Rochester NY
Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester wants to help you reclaim your gum health. Call (585) 685-2005 and book an appointment or ask how you can get started today.