We are open on Memorial Day, Monday 5/27 from 9-1 in the following locations:
Centereach, Park Slope, Lynbrook and Bellmore

Gum Grafting

Reduce sensitivity and improve appearance

If your tooth roots are exposed because of periodontal disease — or overly-aggressive brushing or trauma — gum grafting may help your mouth look and feel better.

What you need to know about Gum Grafting

The most common types of gum grafting

There are three major types of gum grafting:

Free gingival graft

This procedure is often used to thicken gum tissue. A layer of tissue is removed from the palate and relocated to the area affected by gum recession. Both sites will quickly heal without permanent damage.

Subepithelial connective tissue graft

This procedure is commonly used to cover exposed roots. Tissue is removed fairly painlessly from the outer layer of the palate and relocated to the site of gum recession.

Acellular dermal matrix allograft

This procedure uses medically processed, donated human tissue as a tissue source for the graft. The advantage of this is procedure is that there is no need for a donor site from the patient’s palate (and thus, less pain).

Benefits associated with gum grafting

After a gum graft, patients usually experience:

Reduced sensitivity

When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme 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

Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation. 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. In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.

Improved gum health

Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly. If left untreated, a large amount of gum tissue can be lost in a short period of time. Gum grafting can help halt tissue and bone loss; preventing further problems and protecting exposed roots from further decay.

What does gum grafting involve?

Once the need for gum grafting surgery has been determined, there are several treatments the dentist will want perform before gum grafting takes place.

First, the teeth must be thoroughly cleaned supra and subgingivally to remove calculus (tartar) and bacteria. The dentist can also provide literature, advice and educational tools to increase the effectiveness of homecare and help reduce the susceptibility of periodontal disease in the future.

The gum grafting procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic. The exact procedure will depend much on whether tissue is coming from the patient’s palate or a tissue bank.

Initially, small incisions will be made at the recipient site to create a small pocket to accommodate the graft. Then a split thickness incision is made and the connective tissue graft is inserted into the space between the two sections of tissue. The graft is usually slightly larger than the recession area, so some excess will be apparent.

Sutures are often placed to further stabilize the graft and to prevent any shifting from the designated site. Surgical material is used to protect the surgical area during the first week of healing. Uniformity and healing of the gums will be achieved in approximately six weeks.

How long is recovery from gum grafting?

After a gum graft procedure, it will take about one week to fully heal. Swelling and mild discomfort may be experienced during recovery from a gum graft. This should subside within a few days and Tylenol or Advil can be taken in order to help with any pain that you might be experiencing after the procedure. The stitches must also fall out or dissolve over time.

After your surgery, avoid heavy chewing by sticking to mostly soft foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, and bananas. Strenuous activity should also be avoided as this can cause bleeding or additional swelling that will slow down the healing process.

Find one of our convenient locations

Have questions? Contact us