Gum Recession and Tissue Grafting

Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons. Aggressive tooth brushing, genetics, or periodontal disease may all contribute to gum recession. While you may not be in control of what caused the recession, we can help you identify the factors that contribute to the problem.

Gum grafting may help cover the exposed roots, and whenever possible, protect them from decay, help reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, you’ll probably receive the benefits of a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health — your keys to smiling, eating, and speaking with comfort and confidence.

Do you have gum recession?

Gum recession does not happen overnight. You may not even notice your gums have receded, since it is a very slow and gradual process. Without a gum/gingival graft, recession can have a detrimental effect on the health and function of your teeth.

Gum recession may lead to the following:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or sweet, spicy, and/or sour foods
  • Your teeth appear longer than normal
  • The roots of your teeth begin to show

Gum Tissue Grafting

When you come to our office for your grafting procedure, a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area involved. You may also receive medicine to help you relax. We want your experience in our office to be as comfortable as possible, so let us know if there is anything you need during your procedure.

Depending on your specific needs, we will perform one of the following types of gum tissue grafts.

  • Connective tissue grafts – This is the most common method to treat root exposure. Connective tissue grafting involves using gum tissue taken from the palate that is placed below the existing gum line of the affected tooth to help thicken the tissue and cover as much of the exposed root as possible.
  • Free gingival grafts – Similar to a connective tissue grafting, a free gingival graft involves the use of tissue from the palate. Instead of below the gum line, it is placed at the gum line to help thicken the surrounding tissue.  
  • Pedicle grafts – In this procedure, the tissue is grafted from gum around or near the tooth that needs repair. This procedure can only be done if you have sufficient gum tissue near the tooth.

Many factors will affect your chosen grafting technique. During your consultation visit, we can tell you which method will work best for you, your health, and your smile.