Gingival grafting, more commonly referred to as gum grafting, refers to a number of procedures which aim to cover and protect an exposed tooth root by means of grafting oral tissue. Gum grafting is needed for patients who suffer from receding gums or have a particular area lacking gum tissue.
Benefits of gingival grafting include:
- Improved cosmetic appearance
- Improved tissue thickness
- Protection from future recession
- Reduced sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Reduced tooth loss
The process of gum grafting can seem scary to some, but it is a commonly performed procedure done in order to improve and protect your gum health. Your periodontist will first perform a thorough cleaning through scaling and root planing to remove any and all bacteria and tartar build-up. As there are several forms of gingival grafting, the exact procedure will be determined based on your needs. After the anesthetics are administered, small incisions are made to prepare the area for your graft. The graft is then removed, normally from the roof of the mouth on the same side as the problem area, and placed over the exposed root. In most cases, both the surgical site and grafting site will receive small sutures to close and secure the areas. You may experience some soreness and bleeding in the days following the procedure, this is normal. You will be instructed to maintain a delicate oral hygiene regimen while the graft site heals, such as light brushing and avoiding flossing in particular areas.