When gums thin out, they can come loose, exposing roots and leading to many other problems. Called gingival recession, this problem can only be treated with a graft.
What is a gum graft?
A gum graft is a surgical procedure to repair and replenish areas where gums have weakened. The procedure aims to protect teeth and prevent further loosening.
A gum graft is done at the clinic under local anaesthetic:
- The graft is taken from the patient’s palate
- The tissue is grafted onto the area to be treated
- A protective material is applied to the treated area
- Healing time is 6 to 8 weeks
In some cases, it may be possible to use an inert membrane from a donor. This technique is called AlloDerm and it has the benefit of not needing a graft from the patient.
Benefits of a gum graft
- No more pain caused by exposed roots
- Prevention of root cavities
- Improvement of periodontal health (prevention of gum disease)
- Better-looking smile (teeth length and symmetry)
Do grafts need to be redone later?
For most patients who maintain good oral health, the benefits of a gum graft can last a lifetime. Gentle brushing using a soft-bristled brush will help you keep your new smile longer.