Gum (Gingival) Grafting

When recession of the gingiva occurs, the bone loses protection against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When there is only minor recession and some healthy gingiva remains then no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. If sufficient gingiva is not present, inflammation and infection are much more likely and this may lead to greater bone loss, root problems, and possibly tooth loss.

before and after gum grafting

Gum recession can contribute to root sensitivity as well as an unfavorable appearance of your smile.  Exposed root surfaces also increase your risk for cavities and root gouging. If orthodontics or fillings and crowns that extend below the gum line are planned, an evaluation of your gingival health is important since these treatments can worsen recession.

A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is placed next to the tooth or implant to provide an increased amount of healthy gingiva in this area. The tissue may be taken from the roof of the mouth, from an adjacent site, or derived from commercially available processed tissue. In many cases, the gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover a large portion of the exposed root.

The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable healthy band of attached gingiva around the tooth. Recent advances in gingival grafting have led to a much more comfortable procedure with highly esthetic results.