Gum Tissue Grafting

Gums play an important role in protecting the health of teeth, so if the gums are receding, a gum tissue graft may be necessary. Although the procedure is a form of surgery, it is nothing to worry about. It's a simple procedure and has the ability to greatly enhance the look and feel of your mouth.


If roots become exposed or the gum line has receded because of periodontal disease, a graft is used either to cover the exposed roots or to prevent further gum tissue loss. To graft new tissue to the affected area, your periodontist will take gum tissue from another area in the mouth or from a donor in some cases. There are three different types of gum grafts: connective-tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts.

The most common type of graft is the connective-tissue graft that is used to cover exposed roots in the mouth. In this procedure, a flap will be cut in the palate (the roof of the mouth), and some connective tissue will be removed from underneath the flap. The flap is then stitched shut, and the tissue is grafted onto the area of the gum line that needs restoration. Free gingival grafts are similar, but in this procedure, instead of taking tissue only from underneath the flap on the roof of the mouth, the entire flap is removed and grafted onto the gums. The third type of gum graft, the pedicle graft, is quite different. Tissue is taken directly from the gums near the area that requires the graft.


When the gums recede, this causes the exposure of a tooth's root. Exposed roots leave the tooth vulnerable to bone loss and render them sensitive to cold or hot foods. Having new tissue grafted onto exposed roots will alleviate sensitivity and prevent bone loss. In addition to the functional benefits of gum tissue grafting, there are cosmetic advantages, too. Grafting will even out the gum line and improve the look of your smile.


Some healing time will be required after the gum tissue grafting procedure. Flossing and brushing the area that received the graft should be limited until the area has healed completely. Hard, crunchy, spicy or hot foods should also be avoided during this time. While the graft corrects gum-related problems in the mouth, you should still have regular check-ups for preventative dentistry because future problems could still arise.

At Great Lakes Dental Arts in Mentor, OH periodontist Dr. James Matia handles our periodontally involved patients. He is a skilled periodontist with over 30 years of experience. He uses top of the line laser technology to assist him with certain periodontal procedures.