Reasons for Gum Grafting
- To decrease risk of tooth decay on the root surface
- Decrease sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids
- Stop the progression of recession
- Provide protective tissue around the root surface
- Restore the natural appearance
Types of Gum Grafting
- Root Coverage: Gum tissue can be lost due to trauma, orthodontic tooth movement or thin tissue. In cases of recession without bone loss root coverage is possible. Root coverage helps to prevent root surface decay, stop further recession and provide stability to the area by re-growing gum tissue in the area of recession. Following adequate healing, the new gum will blend into the existing gum and the root will be covered.HOW: Root coverage is performed utilizing tissue from the roof of the mouth or donor tissue. Over the period of 3 months the tissue becomes part of the surrounding tissue blending in color and consistency.
- Free gingival Graft: In cases where little pink tissue (keratinized) remains, a free gingival graft is used to rebuild the area. Keratinized tissue is protective and creates a seal around the tooth. It helps to stop the progression of tissue loss and create stability to the area. Free gingival grafts are also used in cases where there is recession accompanied by bone loss and root coverage is not possible.
Benefits of Gum Grafting
Some of the major benefits associated with gum grafting:
Reduced sensitivity – When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause sensitivity to the teeth. Gum grafting surgery permanently covers the exposed root, helps reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.
Improved appearance – Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.” Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at.
Before & After Example