Exposed tooth roots are usually the result of gingival recession due to periodontal disease. There are other common causes, including overly aggressive tooth brushing and trauma. A gum graft (also known as a gingival graft), is a collective name for surgical periodontal grafting procedures that aim to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue. This is also know as Periodontal Plastic Procedure.
Benefits of gum grafting:
Reduced sensitivity – When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme sensitivity to the teeth. Gum grafting surgery permanently covers the exposed root, helps reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.
Improved appearance – Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation. Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.” Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at. In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.
Protect root decay – Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly. Gum grafting can help protect exposed roots from further decay.
What does gum grafting treatment involve?
The gum grafting procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic. Initially, small incisions will be made at the recipient site to create a small pocket to accommodate the graft. Sutures are often placed to further stabilize the graft. The outcome of the gums will be evaluated in approximately six weeks.