Gum Recession & Tissue Grafting

Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons, including aggressive tooth brushing or periodontal disease. You may not be in control of what caused the recession, but prior to treatment, our office can help you identify the factors that contribute to the problem.

Gum grafting will cover the exposed roots to protect them from decay, help reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, you’ll probably receive the benefits of a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health: your keys to smiling, eating, and speaking with comfort and confidence.

Gum Recession

Gum recession is caused by advanced gum disease. When gingivitis goes untreated, gum disease (also called periodontitis) will cause gums to pull away from the teeth, and leave deep pockets where bacteria can grow and damage the bone that supports the teeth.

Gums can also shrink back from the teeth, making the teeth look longer. Teeth may then become loose, fall out, or have to be pulled out by a dentist.

Do you have gum recession?

Gum recession does not happen overnight. You may not even notice that your gums have receded, since it is a very slow, gradual process. However, without a gum tissue graft, recession can have a detrimental effect on the health and function of your teeth. If your dentist has diagnosed you with gingivitis or periodontal disease, it is important to notice if:

  • You have sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or even to sweet, spicy, or sour foods
  • Your teeth appear longer than normal
  • Spaces between your teeth seem to grow
  • The roots of your teeth begin to show

Gum Tissue Grafting

When you come to our office for your grafting procedure, a local anesthetic will be given to numb the areas involved. You may also receive medicine to help you relax. We want your experience in our office to be as comfortable as possible, so let us know if there is anything you need during your procedure.

Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Johnson or Dr. Gohel will perform one of three different types of gum tissue grafts.

  • Connective tissue grafts: The most common method to treat root exposure, connective tissue grafting involves the periodontist using the patient's own tissue to re-create your gumline. This method is considered the "gold standard" in peridontics for treating recession because of it's long-term results. The donor site is a layer of connective tissue from the roof of the mouth, leading to a reduced chance of rejection. Minimal tissue is harvested to cover the area of recession. 
  • Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique: Introducing the latest technique to treat gum recession, the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is an alternative to connective tissue grafts. The treatment involves advancing the gum tissue through a small pinhole to cover the recession and uses a collagen membrane to hold the tissues in position. The technique requires specialized instruments and training. 
  • Tunneling Technique: Yet another minimally invasive technique, the tunneling approach to treating gum recession involves a similar approach to the Pinhole technique. Rather, the tunnel technique creates a space between the gum and underlying bone to insert a small piece of connective tissue either from the patient or another donor source. 

Many factors will contribute to your chosen grafting technique. We can tell you which method will work best for you, your health, and your smile.