Gum Grafting

Gum Recession Surgery

At Pashapour Oral + Facial Surgery in Washington, DC, we offer gum grafting to treat gum recession. Certain oral conditions, such as gingivitis, can have a negative impact on the health of your gums. When gingivitis, bacteria, and plaque begin to build up, the gums may stretch. Large pockets may develop. This makes your gums recede, resulting in an abnormally large amount of the tooth being exposed. Some patients may require gum grafting because they have genetically recessing or thinning gums. While gum recession is cosmetically unappealing, it also causes the delicate structures of the tooth root to become visible.

What is a gum graft?

Gum grafting is a procedure that involves harvesting portions of your own gum tissue and using these grafts to help restore areas of depleted gum volume. Gum grafting is often used as a treatment in patients who are experiencing gum recession as a result of gingivitis. In addition to gum recession being aesthetically unappealing, it also can expose the roots of your teeth, causing pain and increasing your chance of developing a disease or infection. During a gum graft, small portions of gum tissue are typically harvested from the roof of your mouth and implanted at the base of the teeth that are experiencing gum recession. This gum graft will, in time, grow with your existing gum tissue, helping protect the roots of your teeth.


What types of gum grafts are available?

Gum graft surgery may include soft tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, allografts, and pedicle grafts. Soft tissue grafts are one of the most common types of gum grafts available that are used to treat root exposure. A soft tissue graft uses connective tissues from the roof of your mouth. To harvest these tissues, a small flap must be made in the roof of your mouth. The connective tissues are then sutured to the gum tissue of teeth that are experiencing root exposure. Once the connective tissues have been harvested, the flap will be carefully sutured closed.

Free gingival grafts are similar to soft tissue grafts and also use tissue from the roof of your mouth to restore your gumline. The main difference is that instead of making a flap and harvesting the connective tissue beneath, free gingival grafts use a small amount of tissue that is removed directly from the roof of your mouth. This tissue will then be sutured to the gumline that is being treated. Free gingival grafts are mostly used in patients who are experiencing gum thinning.

Allografts are a form of gum grafting that use alternative material so that harvesting your own tissue is not necessary. Allografting uses tissues donated from another individual. The main benefit with allografts is that you will not have to have an incision placed in the roof of your mouth as there is no need to harvest any tissue.

Pedicle grafts do not use harvested tissue from the palate and, instead, use excess tissue from the gums surrounding the tooth or teeth that need repair. A flap of tissue is made into the surrounding gum tissue, but it remains attached by at least 1 edge. This flap, which is known as a pedicle, is then pulled over the exposed tooth roots in order to cover the area of gum recession. The pedicle will then be sutured into place and set to heal.

Types Of Gum Grafts
Soft Tissue Grafts
Uses Connective Tissue Harvested From A Flap On The Roof Of The Mouth
Require Sutures At Donor Site
Flap Is Closed
Free Gingival Grafts
Uses Tissues Harvested From The Roof Of The Mouth
Does Not Require Sutures At Donor Site
No Flap
Uses Donor Tissues
Does Not Use A Donor Site
No Flap
Pedicle Grafts
Uses An Adjacent Flap Of Excess Tissue Near Treatment Area
Donor Site Is Adjacent To Treatment Site
Flap Is Positioned Over Treatment Site And Closed


When is gum grafting recommended?

Gum grafting is recommended if you are experiencing any form of gum recession, thinning, or damage. Gum recession often occurs in the later stages of gingivitis, which causes the roots of the teeth to become exposed. Additionally, trauma or injury to the gumline may cause additional portions of the tooth to become exposed, which can increase your risk of an oral disease. Finally, gum grafting is also recommended for patients with thin gums.


What should I expect after gum grafting?

Your recovery from gum grafting will depend on a variety of factors, including if your own tissues were harvested for the procedure, how much tissue needed to be harvested, and the severity of gum thinning or recession you are having treated. Following gum grafting, you should not brush over or floss the surgical sites. You will be supplied with an antimicrobial mouthwash to use as your mouth heals. A diet of softer foods may be suggested as you recover from gum grafting. Medication can be used to reduce any discomfort you may have following your gum grafting procedure. The majority of patients feel well enough to return to work or normal activities in just 1-2 days. Dr. Pashapour and his surgical team can answer any questions you may have about gum grafting or recovery after a gum graft during your consultation at our Washington, DC office.

How can I get started with gum grafting?

Dr. Pashapour and his staff at Pashapour Oral + Facial Surgery would be happy to discuss the details of a gum grafting with you. To schedule an appointment in Washington, DC or Arlington, please call our office at 703-566-1990 or request an appointment online.

Professional Memberships

Educational Background

Georgetown University The University of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine Drexel University College Of Medicine University Of Medicine & Dentistry Of New Jersey

What Our
Patients Say ...