Why and When is Gum Grafting Necessary?

Gum Grafting

Gum grafting isn’t as common as gum disease or dental cleaning, so you might not be as familiar with this procedure. This is what you need to know about gum grafting.

What Are Gum Grafts?

When your dentist or periodontist suggests gum grafts, he or she wants to cover up the gum decline that you’re experiencing. This surgery takes a piece of tissue, often from your palate, and uses it to cover the root of your tooth. Depending on the condition of your mouth and what your dental specialist feels is best for the look and feel of your gums, they may perform a gum graft on one tooth or more.

There are actually three different types of gum grafts that your periodontist could choose from. Most often, the dental specialist will use connective-tissue grafts, which take tissue from underneath the skin on the top of your mouth, for the procedure. Other types are free gingival grafts and pedicle grafts. Free gingival grafts use tissue from the palate skin, instead of tissue from underneath the skin like with connective-tissue grafts. Pedicle grafts, which only work if enough tissue is present, use some of the tissue already around the tooth.

Beyond using your own tissue, your periodontist could instead decide to lean on a tissue bank or use proteins to try to get your mouth to grow back tissue on its own. Your periodontist will discuss with you which type of gum graft is best in your situation.

Why Are Gum Grafts Necessary?

Gum recession is a common dental problem. However, it should not be left untreated. A gum graft may be necessary to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of gum recession, or you may choose to have one to improve the appearance of your smile. As your gums recede, the tooth or the root of the tooth becomes exposed. This can cause damage to the supporting bone. Many people don’t even notice that their gums have receded, because it is a gradual process. However, over time, an exposed tooth root can not only look ugly, but can cause tooth sensitivity, especially when eating cold or hot foods. Eventually, gum recession, if not treated, can cause tooth loss.

When Do You Need Gum Grafts?

A gum graft is a surgery that a periodontist might perform if your gums are receding from your teeth. At this point, you would be able to see the root of the tooth because the gum is no longer covering all of it. Having this surgery can stop the recession from continuing. This surgery can also help prevent you from losing some of the bone and losing the tooth, as well as prevent decay. This surgery offers numerous benefits, which include protecting your mouth health, taking care of sensitivity in the tooth and helping you eat comfortably. You also might choose to have this procedure for cosmetic reasons so you can feel more positive about your smile.


Whether you’re having trouble finding a suitable dental physician, have more questions about maintaining the best oral hygiene routine, or want to actually perform a dental procedure, outstanding dental advice and care can be offered by Dr. David S. Kao’s office to provide you with the gorgeous, memorable smile you desire. Dr. Kao focuses his treatment on you as an individual, and not just on the dental problem. As part of his approach to dental care, Dr. Kao takes into account each patients’ individual needs and concerns. Dr Kao’s treatments are specifically tailored to provide lasting health benefits.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and to boost both your smile and your confidence.