Gum Graft

A dental procedure showing gums on a female patient.

A gum graft is the collective term for surgical periodontal operations that seek to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue. It is also known as a gingival graft or periodontal plastic surgery. Gum grafting cost depends on the size or number of teeth that require one. However, gum grafts cost may be higher if contouring is included.

The most common cause of exposed tooth roots is gingival recession brought on by periodontal disease. Other common causes include trauma and rigorous brushing.


Here are some of the most common gum grafting procedures:


  • Free gingival graft:  Gum tissue thickening usually involves this process. The palate’s layer of tissue is removed and shifted to the region where gum recession has occurred. Both areas will immediately recover without suffering long-term harm.


  • Subepithelial connective tissue graft:  Gum recession treatment and gum graft surgery may be part of the procedure. Roots that are exposed are often covered using this method. The gum recession location is treated with tissue that has been withdrawn very painlessly from the outer layer of the palate.


  • Acellular dermal matrix allograft:  In this treatment, the tissue source for the graft is human tissue that has been donated and processed medically. The benefit of this treatment is that the patient’s palate does not have to be used as a donor site which makes it less painful.

Why gum grafting?

Gum grafting is a typical periodontal operation. Even though the treatment is often carried out with great success, the word may seem intimidating. The following are some of the main advantages of gum graft:


  • Decreased sensitivity –  Extreme dental sensitivity can result from eating or drinking hot or cold things when the tooth root is exposed. Gum grafting surgery helps to ease discomfort, cover the exposed root permanently, and restore the gums’ healthy condition.
  • Improved appearance – Gum recession and inflammation are symptoms of periodontal disease. The teeth may appear longer than usual due to gum recession and root exposure, giving the smile a “toothy” appearance. Gum grafting can make the teeth appear shorter, more symmetrical, and more visually appealing overall. Additionally, nearby tissue may be boosted and improved throughout the surgery for cosmetic reasons.
  • Improved gum health – Periodontal disease may advance quickly and damage gum tissue. In a short amount of time, a significant quantity of gum tissue can be lost if untreated. Gum grafting can slow down bone and tissue deterioration, averting more issues, and shielding exposed roots from further degradation.

What is the process of gum grafting treatment?

A periodontist will want to complete a number of treatments before performing gum grafting surgery after the need for the procedure has been established. To get rid of germs and calculus (tartar), the teeth must first be carefully cleansed above and below the gum line. The periodontist can also offer information, guidance, and instructional resources to improve the efficiency of homecare and assist in lowering longterm risk of periodontal disease.


A local anesthetic is generally used during the gum grafting operation. The specific method will vary depending on whether the tissue is taken from the patient’s palate or from a tissue bank.


Tiny incisions will be made at the recipient spot to create a small pocket for the transplant. After that, a split thickness incision is created, and the connective tissue transplant is put into the void between the two portions of tissue. There will likely be some surplus because the graft is often slightly bigger than the recession area.


To further stabilize the graft and prevent it from migrating from the intended site, sutures are usually used. During the first week of recuperation, surgical material is used to cover the surgical area. In around six weeks, the gums will be uniform and will have healed. Gum grafts before and after procedure certainly makes so much difference.  


Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliott Weidman, our periodontist, if you have any questions regarding gum grafting.

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