Gum Grafting in James Island
When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When the recession is minor, some healthy gingiva often remains to protect the tooth. Modifying home care practices is often all that’s necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost. Gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.
Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods, as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. If significant, gum recession predisposes the patient to worsening recession. This exposes the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
The Gum Graft Solution
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth (maxillary palate) or gently moved over from adjacent areas to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
While maxillary palates generally heal quickly, our periodontist, Dr. Patricia L. Blanton, will typically take impressions before the surgery, to make a stent to cover the exposed area to further speed recovery.
The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.