Gum Grafting

What is Gingival Recession?

When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. Gum recession is a sign of bone loss.  When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.

When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.

In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.


 Bone Loss and Root Exposure

Connective Tissue Grafts and Allografts (Alloderm):

GOOD NEWS!  Options for repairing the loss of gum tissue have improved.    We can use your own tissue (“Autograft”) or we can buy tissue to use (“Allograft”).  Ask us which procedure is right for you.
Have you had a “gum graft” before and had a lot of pain from where the tissue was taken?  This doesn’t have to happen with this procedure.  The roof of the mouth is quite comfortable now following surgery, there is no “pizza burn” painful site.  Ask us about this procedure and if it is right for you
When we use your own tissue it is no longer from a painful  like a “pizza burn” after.  We now make a small “pouch” in the roof of the mouth, take a thin piece of tissue out and place stitches that dissolve to close and protect the area.  This tissue is then used to graft the site of the recession to  provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth which will protect the bone that supports the tooth. The gingival/ soft tissue graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root and protect the tooth from further bone loss.
We can protect your roots and bone rather painlessly and predictably, call us to ask us about these procedures.

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Informational Video:

 BeforeRachel Murphy -- preop #11 10.26.10
 2 weeks Post OpRachel Murphy - PO #11 11.10.10

The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.

 Samantha Russo preop 11 IMGP0609

 Samantha Russo post op 11IMGP0694 cropped