Repair Gum Damage with Soft Tissue Grafting

Dental365 can help protect teeth and repair gum damage caused by gum recession with soft tissue grafting. Gum recession can lead to exposure of teeth roots and changes to the appearance of your smile. The goal of soft tissue grafting is to cover areas of exposed roots and thicken existing gum tissue to halt further recession. If your gums are receding, soft tissue grafting can help save your smile. Contact one of our New York, NY-area dental practices to schedule a consultation with an experienced dentist.

Reasons for Soft Tissue Grafting

During your initial consultation, we will perform an oral exam to determine if you are a good candidate for soft tissue grafting. There are many reasons for undergoing soft tissue grafting, including:

  • Increased comfort: When dental roots are exposed, patients can experience extreme pain and discomfort. Foods of varying temperature can stimulate this mouth pain. A soft tissue graft will cover the exposed roots to reduce sensitivity and restore the gums to good health.
  • Improved smile: Receding gums can make your smile look toothy, or make your teeth look uneven in size. We can perform a soft tissue graft as a cosmetic procedure, to restore symmetry to your smile.
  • Restored gum health: Gum disease can lead to the rapid destruction of soft tissue. Along with a deep cleaning, a soft tissue graft can halt the loss of gum tissue caused by periodontal disease and protect any exposed roots from further complications.

Types of Soft Tissue Grafts

Also during your consultation, we will determine which type of graft is best suited to your needs. There are three common types of soft tissue grafts:

  • Free gingival graft: Often used to increase gum tissue density, this surgical technique uses tissue from the palate of your mouth. For this procedure, we will remove a small amount of tissue directly from the roof of the mouth and attach it to the recessed area of the gum. 
  • Connective tissue graft: This type of graft is the most common and corrects exposed roots. Like the free gingival graft, this procedure involves the roof of the mouth, but varies in that a flap of skin is cut and removed. This tissue, called subepithelial connective tissue, is stitched to the gum tissue around the exposed root. The flap is then stitched closed.
  • Lateral pedicle graft, or pedicle graft: This procedure requires ample gum tissue near the exposed root, directly adjacent to the damaged area. A flap in the gum near the affected tooth is used, as opposed to tissue from the palate. A pedicle, or small flap of tissue, is created, and a small section is left attached. The flap of the gum is pulled over the exposed root, and stitched into place.

The Soft Tissue Graft Process

Receding gums.We will first begin with a deep cleaning above and below the gum line, clearing tartar from the teeth and roots. Generally, we will administer a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Next, we make a small incision at the treatment site, and place the donor tissue. 

Typically, the piece of donor tissue will be larger than the incision, therefore, some excess tissue may be noticeable. We may add tissue-stimulating proteins to the area to encourage growth. The final step is suturing the treatment site. Most patients experience substantial healing within the first six weeks after the procedure.

Don't Wait, Call Today

The expert team at Dental365 wants to help take care of your smile. If you suspect you may have receding gums, contact us today to discuss your soft tissue grafting options.