Soft Tissue Graft
If your gums are pulling away from your teeth (gum recession), if you suffer from sensitive teeth or root cavites due to exposed root surfaces or if you want to improve your smile, your dentist may recommend Soft Tissue Grafts.
Causes of Gum Recession
Gum Recession can be caused by an inflammatory response to plaque.
Aggressive tooth brushing with a hard tooth brush can cause gum recession. Gum recession is most often seen on canines and premolars since these teeth are stroked twice with each stroke of the brush. In some instances the patterns of gum recession can indicate the hand used. Using a hard tooth brush also causes hard tissue loss exposing the dentin and making the teeth sensitve and prone to decay.
Improper flossing technique causes flossing clefts and gum recession. Flossing clefts are caused by popping the floss between the teeth and pushing it hard against the gums.
Grinding or Clenching of teeth can cause both hard(enamel and dentin) and soft tissue( gum tissue) loss around the neck of the teeth due to concentration of stresses.
Gum recession is more likely adjacent to an extraction site due to bone and soft tissue loss. Hence your dentist will recommend bone grafting during or after the extraction to maintain tissue levels.
The causes of gum recession are first identified and treated prior to soft tissue grafting procedures. This is an essential step to prevent recurrence of gum recession.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Grafts
Soft Tissue Grafts help to cover the exposed root surfaces thereby preventing further recession, sensitivity and protect the roots from decay. Soft tissue grafts can also be used to augment vertical tissue defect prior to bridge or implant placement. This helps in maintaining the normal length of the replacing tooth and a more esthetic outcome.
Sources of Soft Tissue Grafts
Soft tissue Grafts can be obtained from your palate, an adjacent healthly site where there is no bone or soft tissue loss or can be obtained from a Tissue Bank. The Soft Tissue Graft obtained from Tissue Banks are devoid of cellular components, but contain blood vessel channels, collagen, elastin and proteogylcans that act as a biologic scaffolding for normal tissue remodeling.