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gailcalled's avatar

Gum tissue graft surgery? What has your experience been?

Asked by gailcalled (54644points) September 11th, 2013

A periodontist in Vancouver, BC (3400 miles from me) has suggested that my daughter have this procedure done on five of her bottom front teeth. I have never heard of this and am too far away to mommy her into a second opinion. Any experience or advice? She has routinely taken scrupulous care of her teeth and mouth.

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15 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think it was Dave Barry that wrote about this in his column a while ago. Evidently gum erosion isn’t unusual at all. The vigorous brushers get it all the time. I believe his went fine.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Is it gum graft ? or is it bone graft? I’ve had bone graft done on a few of my tooth sockets.

Unbroken's avatar

These should be fine just make sure the dental surgeon is good at their job.

What happens is gums erode one cause in vigourous brushing another reason is the flap of skin connecting bottom lip to teeth will occasionally pull the gums away.

This can cause tooth decay and makes gums vulnerable to gum diseases. A lapse in natural defenses that care can’t really overcome. She should do it.

drhat77's avatar

I would make sure they were referred to the surgeon by a doctor they trusted. That they ask the surgeon about realistic complication rates, how complications might be re-mediated (more surgery?), what long term outcomes are, if they could talk to any patients that had the procedure performed on them, how long they’ve been doing this procedure.

syz's avatar

I had it done for a receding gum over a tooth root. They cut away an edge of the affected gum line and took a graft of tissue from the roof of my mouth and sutured it in place (as well as suture closed the donor site). It was a pretty quick procedure, and I had no complications.

The sutures feel strange, and it’s practically impossible to keep your tongue away from them. But I don’t remember it being particularly painful.

It healed up just fine and you can’t tell that anything was done there, now. In fact, my current dentist hasn’t even noticed.

YARNLADY's avatar

I had one done two months ago, and it went just fine. I don’t remember anything between the opening conversation and being told my ride was here to take me home. There was a little pain the first night, and I felt discomfort for a couple of weeks.

gailcalled's avatar

Thank you, everyone. I feel less freaked out.

@Tropical_Willie “Gum tissue graft surgery” says it all.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Painful and usually very successful. Necessary in the area you specify. Don’t use hard toothbrushes people.

drhat77's avatar

@trailsillustrated I use one of those reciprocating head tooth brushes is that OK? I started to get worried when I read up on this procedure?

trailsillustrated's avatar

@drhat77 do you mean an ultrasonic? all those toothbrushes are great just don’t push too hard as men are wont to do, and I don’t even think they make hard bristles for those. I’ve never seen a graft in the area OP mentions go wrong, ever.

gailcalled's avatar

MY dentist keeps reminding me to only tickle my gums with the electric Oral B I use. “Curb one’s enthusiasm” is the mantra.

To my surprise, I just learned from my sister that our mother had this same procedure done when she was in her late sixties.

Dentist noticed problems in two of my daughter’s front teeth; the periodontist suggested she have five done.

Is this a good idea or is it better to do only one or two at a time rather than the whole shebang, which is also very expensive. In Canada, where my daughter is not a citizen, this will cost $3000.

trailsillustrated's avatar

boo wow! that’s expensive BUT in the US it would probably be more- have it done and over with in one go. Remember they have to take the graft from the roof of the mouth just have it done all together.

gailcalled's avatar

I will pass this on.

Thanks for the professional opinion.

“free gingival grafts” seems to be the choice. Is that tissue taken from the roof of the mouth?

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