At the Austin clinic of the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group, we regularly see the ravages of periodontal disease on gum tissue. There are many restorative approaches for teeth, and mild gum surgery is frequently done to close pockets in the tissue, but reconstructing receded gums could require a more complicated type of graft.
If the gums have receded too far to be stretched back over the roots of the teeth, Dr. Shaw may think it best to add new soft material. If the new tissue also comes from the patient, this is referred to as a “self-donation.” Donor tissue is usually taken from the soft palate at the roof of the mouth. In some cases, a flap is cut into the soft palate and tissue is removed from beneath it, and the flap is sutured afterward. At other times, some of the outer surface may be transferred as well and sewn over the exposed tooth roots. The donor site would then be protected with surgical film while it heals.
The development of synthetic grafting materials and use of cadaver donors eliminates the need for one of the surgical sites. Getting new gum tissue may seem frightening to a patient, but the surgery has a very high success rate and should greatly reduce the sensitivity of their teeth.
Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.