What is a gum graft?
Soft tissue grafting is the process of applying a new layer of gingiva over the area that has receded. Like a skin graft that would be used on burn victims, the new tissues are harvested and moved to the location where they are needed. This protects the area underneath and also affects the overall appearance of the teeth.
Have you ever looked into the mirror and noticed that certain teeth are starting to look “longer” than they used to be? Almost as if the tooth is protruding/erupting out of the gums more than it was a few years ago? It turns out that it’s not a problem with your tooth, but actually your gum tissue (gingiva) around it. We call this condition, “gum recession.”As gums recede, they leave the root surfaces of teeth exposed. This can lead to a number of concerns such as:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Root surface cavities
- Tooth mobility
- Bone loss (recession)
- Aesthetic concerns
- Loss of coverage for dental implants
Although these concerns may not seem severe at first, untreated gum loss can ultimately result in a gradual deterioration of your overall oral health and potentially lead to loss of the affected teeth. Root surfaces are much weaker and susceptible to infection than the strong enamel that makes up the portion of the tooth that extends above the gum line (the crowns).