Gum grafting is a procedure designed to cover exposed tooth root surfaces with new gum tissue. Receding gums can cause severe problems, and can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
What to expect
There are three different types of gum tissue grafts:
A connective-tissue graft is the most common procedure to treat tooth root exposure. In this process, a small piece of tissue from under the surface of the roof of your mouth is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surround the exposed root.
A free gingival graft also involves using tissue from the roof of the mouth. Instead of removing the tissue from underneath the surface, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the surface of the roof of the mouth. The tissue is then attached to the area of the gums being treated. This procedure is typically used for patients who have thin gums and need additional tissue to enlarge them.
A pedicle graft involves moving gum tissue over the area of recession from an area adjacent to the tooth with recession. Patients must have ample gum tissue in the area right next to the recession for a pedicle graft to be possible.
After the procedure
Your dentist will provide specific instructions for care after your surgery. It’s important to remember not to floss or brush the gum line that was repaired until that area has healed. You will be given a special mouth rinse to help control plaque, and you may be put on an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection.