How Bone Graft Rejuvenates Gums

Bone grafting is a fairly straightforward procedure that is used in both medical and dental treatments. It is primarily used when a patient wishes to receive dental implants but is found to have an insufficient healthy bone in their jaw to support them. This is often due to the fact that bone in the jaw naturally deteriorates when teeth are missing as there is no root to stimulate it. However, it is also recommended when a patient has severe periodontal disease that has caused a loss of gum coverage and bone support around their teeth.

What happens during bone grafting?

Exactly what will happen during your bone grafting procedure will depend on your individual circumstances. In most cases, bone is either taken from another part of your body, normally your hip or shin bone, or in some cases it is necessary to use a synthetic bone substitute. Obviously, if you have bone taken from another part of your body you will have an additional wound to look after until it heals.

Our skeleton has two main elements. The first is the bone matrix, which is the hard material that makes bones strong and durable. Within the bone matrix are living bone cells that are responsible for making and maintaining the bone matrix. They can also heal and repair bones, and it is these cells that enable small to medium fractures to heal. However, where there is an area of bone missing, as is the case with patients whose jaw bone has started to deteriorate, it is necessary to insert new bone in the place where there is not enough. The cells inside the new bone then seal themselves to the old bone, completing the graft.

Bone grafting may be performed under general anesthetic, but it may also be possible to have your bone graft using a combination of a local anesthetic and sedation. Afterward, it is normal to have some discomfort and you will be given pain relief to help you manage. It can take up to six months for the new bone to fully integrate with the old.

Woman smiling widely

How does bone grafting cause gum tissue to regenerate?

As part of the bone grafting procedure, many patients are given tissue-stimulating proteins into the existing gum tissue. This prompts the gum tissue to regenerate to further cover and protect the new bone. In doing so, the gum tissue can also regrow to cover any areas where it has pulled away from the teeth – known as gum recession. Gum recession is a common effect of advanced periodontal disease and can actually worsen the condition since the gaps that open up between the teeth and gums easily trap bacteria and food debris. Therefore, bone grafting can also play a crucial role in the treatment of periodontal disease as well as the placement of dental implants.

Need more information about bone grafting or want to know if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure? Contact our Tampa, FL office today to schedule an appointment with our experienced periodontal team.