Gingival graft

What is a gum graft?

Gum graft is a surgical procedure that consists of restoring a sufficient amount of gums with graft tissue around the teeth and their roots. It can thus stop the progression of a gum recession and prevent the appearance of a new decline. Thus, gum grafting restores thickness and height to the weakened gum. At the same time restorative, preventive and esthetic, this surgery strengthens the support tissues to protect the teeth and often restore a nice smile.

All gum grafys have the same point in common: the correction of defects related to morphology (often thickness), position and gum quality. When we talk about defect we mean a thin morphology, a low position on the tooth or simply a small or insufficient amount of gum.

These defects if left untreated lead to various dental problems and lead patients to consult:

  • Wear on teeth near the gum
  • Cavities that appear on the roots of teeth
  • Pain to the touch, for example during brushing
  • Discomfort while eating and drinking
  • Sensitivity to cold, sweet and acidic foods
  • A yellowish coloring with the collar of the teeth
  • Loss of supporting tissu leading to a weaker tooth

Why do a gum graft?

Gingival grafting is a common periodontal procedure. This process, although it may seem frightening, gives excellent results. There are several kinds of gum grafts. Some improve the life of the teeth or are used to prepare the site that will receive a dental implant. Others will be used to reduce tooth sensitivity or improve aesthetics. However, one of the main reasons why patients get grafted is in the presence of gum loss called gum recession. Bare, the roots are indeed more vulnerable to caries and dental hypersensitivities. Teeth seem longer and spaces between teeth may appear. There is no doubt that this affects the quality of life of patients. Thus, gum grafting when necessary will bring many benefits for patients:

Ces défauts s’ils ne sont pas traités mènent à divers problèmes dentaires et amènent les patients à consulter pour:

  • A decrease in the sensitivity of teeth with gum recessions
  • Protection and strengthening of the gum adhering to the tooth
  • Preserves the tooth from loosing support
  • Restore aesthetics to the gum tissue

The main causes of gum recessions

  • A gum disease (periodontitis) caused by the significant presence of tartar and dental plaque. This causes bleeding, loss of bone and gums around the teeth.
  • A bad brushing technique, excessive pressure when cleaning teeth or a brush with rigid bristles can cause gum recessions. Use a soft brush and make sure you practice a brushing technique recommended by your dentist and hygienist.
  • Poorly positioned teeth in the mouth (e.g. externally positioned canine), poorly adapted bridges or dental crowns
  • Des dents mal positionnées dans la bouche ( par exemple canine positionnée extérieurement) , des ponts ou couronnes dentaires mal adaptées
  • Bruxism and clenching of teeth. The application of excessive chewing forces on teeth can cause the appearance of cracks, dental fractures but also gum loss where it is too thin or in insufficient quantities.
  • Trauma to the teeth with dental treatments such as orthodontics or restorations
  • Piercings in the lip and tongue. They cause trauma and injure the gums, which causes gum recessions.

Steps of the intervention

  1. Gum grafts involve taking a portion of gums called the “graft” to cover the roots exposed by the recession or reinforce the tissu weakened over time. The gum graft procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. The exact procedure depends on the origin of the graft: the patient’s palate or a tissue bank.
  2. Initially, small incisions will be made on the receiving area to create a small pocket that will accommodate the graft.
  3. Then a partial incision on the thickness is made and the connective tissue graft is inserted into the space between the two sections of tissue.
  4. A suture is often performed to further stabilize the transplant and avoid any displacement of the designated site. A surgical dressing is used to protect the worked area during the first week of healing.
  5. Uniformity and healing of the gum will be completed in about six weeks.

For more information about our gum transplants do not hesitate to contact our dental team.