Gum graft

The gum graft

A gum graft is used to treat the effects of periodontitis (or gum disease), mainly characterized by a recession of the gum that covers the root of a tooth.

To treat your receding gums, make an appointment now for a consultation regarding the various options to treat your receding gums! 

Periodontal disease and gum graft:

Gingival recession is one of the most visible effects of periodontal disease (or gum disease). It can be limited to one or several teeth, and the symptoms it causes may be non-existent or take various forms:

  • exposing the root of one or more teeth;
  • root sensitivity;
  • tissue inflammation;
  • cavities
  • aesthetic problems;
  • gum disease;
  • deterioration of the bone and gums;
  • loss of teeth

Depending on the situation, it is sometimes advisable to correct the gum recession because gum tissue is the main obstacle to bacteria. Without a sufficient amount of gingival tissue around the tooth, bacteria can cause gum disease, deterioration of the bone and gum, tooth decay and, in rare cases, tooth loss. A gum graft can limit or counteract the effects of this recession of the gums.

Types of gingival graft

There are four types of interventions: the means chosen will depend on your situation, the severity of the illness and your particular needs.

Connective tissue graft

Connective tissue graft is the most common form of gum grafts. It is used to treat the exposure of the root around one or more teeth. During surgery, the dentist incises a piece of skin from the palate and removes tissue beneath this piece. The piece of skin is then sewn in place. The tissue removed is sutured to the tissue of the gum that surrounds the exposed root. Over time, the sutured tissue will grow with that of the gum and will form a healthier gum around the tooth

Free gingival graft

The free gingival graft is similar to the connective tissue graft except that instead of cutting a piece of skin to take tissue, a small amount of tissue is taken directly from the palate. This is then added directly to the treated gum. This is an interesting method for patients who have thin gums.

Pedicle graft

The pedicle graft method does not use the tissue of the palate. The gingival tissue is rather grafted from the existing tissue around the affected tooth. With this method, the piece of skin, called pedicle, is partially cut to remain attached. The piece is then pulled up to cover the exposed root, then sutured. This method is preferred for patients who have a large amount of guml tissue near the affected tooth.

The Pinhole Surgical Technique ®

The Pinhole surgical technique is an innovating and minimally invasive alternative to the traditional gum graft which allows the gum to be detached from the tooth to reposition the existing gingival tissue. This allows your dentist to better cover the structure of the root. It requires local anesthesia, followed by a micro-puncture (pinhole) in the gum, near the tooth (s) affected by the recession.
More information

It is also possible to use synthetic grafts or grafts from a tissue bank.

Convalescence after a gingival transplant

  • After the surgery, you can go home. However, if you have received a sedative to relax, you will have to ask a friend or family member to escort you back.
  • Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions for post-operative care.
  • Do not use dental floss or toothbrush on the area of the treated gum until it is healed and you are told to do so.
  • You may need to use a mouthwash to help you fight plaque and bacteria during this time.
  • You may be able to go back to work after one or two days
  • Within one week of surgery, your diet will be limited to soft foods such as eggs, pasta, Jell-O and yogurt

The pain is different for each patient and depends on many factors, such as tolerance and the type of transplant performed. Your dentist may prescribe an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug or, in rare cases, a prescription analgesic if necessary

The aesthetic advantages of the gum graft

People who find that their teeth are too big or are embarrassed by the amount of visible tooth surface can also benefit from a gum graft. If  gum disease has resulted in a significant loss of support structures, a gum graft can be used to restore an interesting height to the gum. In doing so, the visible part of the tooth will be reduced and the overall health of the teeth and gums will be improved.