Gum Grafts

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure performed to treat gum recession caused due to periodontal diseases, vigorous brushing, genetics or poor oral care. It involves the transplant of healthy tissue to the recessed area thereby improving the strength and length of your gums. Treating gum recession is very important because recessed gums expose tooth roots, cause tooth loss, sensitivity and are more susceptible to infections, abrasion, and decay. 

Gum recession happens slowly, and most people do not realize it for a very long time. Below are a few symptoms that indicate you may require gum grafts.

  • Red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums.
  • Persistent foul breath and a foul taste in the mouth.
  • Loose teeth that are ready to fall out.
  • Presence of abscess pockets and fistula.
  • Facial swelling.
  • Drainage.

What are the benefits provided by gum grafts?

The benefits provided by gum grafts are:

  • Gum grafts strengthen and stabilize the receding gums by transplanting healthy tissue to the recessed area.
  • Gum recession leaves the tooth roots exposed. Gum grafts cover the exposed tooth roots and protect them from decay, infections, sensitivity, and abrasion.
  • Gum grafts also improve the aesthetic nature of the smile by improving its cosmetic appeal.
  • Gum grafts improve your oral health, self-esteem, and confidence.
  • Gum grafts successfully treat periodontal diseases and combat the foul smell coming from diseased and infected gums. 

How are gum grafts placed?

Before placing the gum grafts scaling and root planing are performed to deeply cleanse the tooth surfaces and gums. Placement of gum grafts involves the extraction of healthy tissue from one area and transplanting it to the recessed area. The process is performed under anesthesia to avoid pain and discomfort. There are three kinds of gum grafting procedures, and your dentist will choose the best option for you depending on the severity of damage and unique individual needs. 

a.  Connective-Tissue Grafts

Connective-tissue grafts are commonly used to tend to receding gums and tissues around teeth whose roots are exposed

  • A small incision is made on the roof of the mouth and a strip is cut.
  • Subepithelial healthy tissue is extracted from below the strip and the strip is sutured back securely.
  • The extracted tissue is transplanted to the recessed area and the exposed tooth roots are covered.
  • The transplanted tissue integrates with the receding gums to permanently strengthen and lengthen the gum line.

 b.  Free Gingival Grafts

Free gingival grafts are used to strengthen a naturally thin gumline and tissues. They are similar to connective tissue gum grafts and enlarge the naturally thin gumline.

  • Free gingival grafts don't involve the removal of tissue from under a strip on the roof of the mouth. Instead, the tissue is removed directly from the surface of the palate. 
  • The extracted tissue is transplanted to the recessed area and the exposed tooth roots are covered.
  • The transplanted tissue integrates with the receding gums to permanently strengthen and lengthen the gum line.

c.  Pedicle or Lateral Grafts

Pedicle or lateral grafts are used if you have healthy tissue adjacent to your receding gums. 

  • Pedicle grafts don't use tissue from the roof of your mouth. Instead, a strip of tissue, called a pedicle, is taken from the healthy gums near the recessed area. Only a part of the healthy tissue is cut. 
  • The strip is or pulled down to cover the exposed tooth roots in the upper jaw and pulled up to cover the exposed tooth roots in the lower jaw. The tissue-strip is held in place with stitches.
  • Pedicle gum grafts have the highest success rate. They do not stop blood flow in any section of the mouth. After the surgery, the mouth is disinfected using an anti-bacterial mouthwash. 

We, at Bliss Dentistry of Campbell, California, cater to all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our Campbell dentists with their entire team persevere to provide you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile. If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an experienced dentist in the South Bay Area, feel free to contact us at (408) 963-6678 to schedule an appointment.


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