Gingival (Gum) Grafting Procedures

When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. Gum grafting techniques can allow for the reconstruction of these tissues and a return to health.

Not all areas of recession require treatment. When only minor recession is present, some healthy gingiva often remains providing adequate protection. Treatment is suggested for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are: continued progression of recession, sensitivity, esthetic enhancement, inadequate tissue thickness, and anticipated orthodontic or restorative treatment.

If left untreated, gum recession can result in increased root sensitivity, softening of the exposed root leading to caries (cavities), and potential periodontal infection. A gum graft is designed to solve these problems. Most often donor human tissue can be utilized or a thin piece of tissue may be taken from the roof of the mouth.  The graft is most often placed underneath the existing tissue using a minimally invasive tunneling technique and the entire area is maneuvered to cover the exposed root(s). Regenerative proteins are often added to grafts to enhance the outcome. Non-resorbable sutures are often used to maintain the new tissue position and are taken out once the tissue is stable (2-6 weeks).  Gingival grafting is a highly predictable means of restoring health and improving esthetics in areas of recession.