Soft Tissue/Gingival Grafting

This procedure is designed to stop and prevent “gum recessions” by reinforcing the tissue, or to improve the esthetics of your gum line after gum recession has occurred by covering the roots back up

A gum graft (also known as a gingival graft), is a collective name for surgical periodontal procedures that aim to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue..

Exposed tooth roots are often the result of gingival recession due to periodontal disease.  Other common causes, including overly aggressive brushing, abnormal tooth position, and trauma.

Here are some of the most common types of gum grafting:

  • Free gingival graft– This procedure is often used to thicken gum tissue.  A layer of tissue is removed from the palate and relocated to the area affected by gum recession.  Both sites will quickly heal without permanent damage.
  • Subepithelial connective tissue graft– This procedure is commonly used to cover exposed roots.  Tissue is removed fairly painlessly from the inner layer of the palate and relocated to the site of gum recession.
  • Acellular dermal matrix allograft– This procedure uses medically processed, donated human tissue as a tissue source for the graft.  The advantage of this is procedure is that there is no need for a donor site from the patient’s palate (and thus, less pain).


Reasons for gum grafting

Gum grafting is a common periodontal procedure that is commonly performed with excellent results.

Here are some of the major benefits associated with gum grafting:

  • Reduced sensitivity– When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme sensitivity to the teeth.  Gum grafting surgery covers the exposed root (in most cases, permanently), helps reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.
  • Improved appearance– Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation.  Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.”  Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at.  In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.
  • Improved gum health– Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly.  If left untreated, a large amount of gum tissue can be lost in a short period of time.  Gum grafting can help halt tissue and bone loss; preventing further problems and protecting exposed roots from further decay.


During this procedure, Dr. Gradoville will take a piece of gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth. Because there are several types of gum grafts, Dr. Gradoville can tell you which graft best suits your situation