When gum tissues have pulled away from the tooth (receded) or have been lost due to trauma or gum infection, gingival grafting is a treatment option to cover exposed root surfaces. This not only provides an improved appearance, but protects the exposed root surface which can be very sensitive to cold or touch, as well as highly susceptible to decay (cavities).
Gingival grafting involves careful and gentle numbing of two separate areas of the mouth. If you have any concerns regarding dental anesthesia, please view “Anesthesia” under our “Patient Information” tab. Once numbed, a small tissue graft is taken from the donor site, which is usually on the palate. The gum is carefully separated from the tooth where the area of recession is present, and the tissue graft is positioned and attached to the gum and tooth in the area of recession with stitches.
You will be given post-op instructions regarding care of the grafted area. Be sure to continue taking all medications as directed. Minor tenderness may be noted in the palatal area where the donor tissue was harvested, and you may find it more comfortable to chew on the opposite side of the mouth for a few days. A short appointment will be scheduled to remove stitches and evaluate your healing in 7-10 days. Over the next few weeks, the tissue heals and covers the area where the recession was previously present.