Gingival Grafting

Gingival grafting is a procedure to correct receding gums, and other deformities of the gum-line. These conditions are caused by inflamation as a result from a lack or loss of gingival tissue (gum) around the teeth. When gingival (gum) recession occurs, the teeth and surrounding tissue lose a natural protection against bacteria and trauma. The exposed root surfaces are often more sensitive to hot and cold and more likely to get cavities. Gingival grafting is a regenerative procedure when gum recession is a problem.

Who would most likely benefit from gingival grafting procedure?

Patients, who have periodontal disease, aggressive brushing habits, a history of orthodontics, or thin gum tissue, are at a higher risk for gingival (gum) recession. Unfortunately, gingival (gum) tissue once lost, cannot regenerate without therapeutic intervention. The root surface is softer and weaker than enamel, leading to root caries, root gouging, and root sensitivity. When gum recession occurs, both the underlying bone and pink “attached” gum tissue are lost and as this happens the progression of recession can speed up from the slower more gradual tissue loss. However, the bone loss that accompanies gingival recession cannot be reversed.

Gingival grafting is a proven procedure to correct soft tissue loss and prevent future problems. The goal’s of this procedure is to regenerate lost soft tissue, thicken the existing soft tissue, and improve the amount of attached tissue.

How is gingival grafting traditionally done?

A very thin piece of oral tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth, or moved from the adjacent areas. This provides a strong band of attached gingival tissue (gum tissue) around the tooth, as well as covering the exposed root surface of the tooth.

Are newer approaches or techniques available for root coverage?

A newer less invasive approach involves the use of acellular dermal matrix. This connective tissue is taken from organ donors and has all the cells removed from the connective tissue. Once placed it forms a scaffold to allow the ingrowth and colonization of the graft by your own cells. This tissue is used in place of your own tissue and can be used to treat one to all teeth. This technique involves few incisions and has been shown to have minimal post op discomfort and excellent results in Dr. Cook’s hands.

Newer approaches involve the use of biologic growth factors that can actually re-grow gum tissue, cementum, and bone.

Each technique and its benefits and limitations. Dr. Cook can discuss each of these with you and recommend one depending on your individual situation and goals.

If you are interested in improving your oral health or want to your smile by cover some exposed tooth roots, call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeremiah Cook. He will thoroughly review your medical history and exam your gum tissue to find the best solution for your beautiful healthy smile.