Gum Tissue Grafts: What Are They, How Are They Done?
When recession of the gingiva around teeth occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. Gum recession often results in exposure of tooth root areas leading to root sensitivity, as well as an unsightly appearance. The exposure of softer root surfaces makes the tooth more likely to develop caries in the roots, requiring white filling material to restore. Gum recession can progress into bone loss and, if allowed to go untreated, can result ultimately in loss of a tooth.
When gum recession is identified, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is indicated.
Most grafts in our office (BUT NOT ALL) are done with donor tissue that has been treated to remove any potential for disease transmission, and is approved by the F.D.A. We have used this donor tissue for 15 years with no adverse effects.
The benefit to you is that no second surgery is necessary to harvest tissue from other areas of the mouth for the graft. The examples below show the before and after appearance of recession sites treated with donor tissue.
Other recession sites are best treated with “connective tissue”. The reason for this is due to the anatomy of the supporting bone and gum tissue around teeth in the front of the lower jaw. When necessary, this type of graft is harvested from the roof of the mouth using a new surgery technique that allows the donor site to heal without pain. The photos below show grafts done with connective tissue.