Gum Graft - Connective Tissue Grafts

Gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause the gums to recede and secondarily cause loose teeth, pain, swelling, and bleeding. Gum graft surgery can be used to repair wounded gum tissue and help to keep the gums free of future infections. The procedure involves harvesting connective tissue (typically from the roof of the mouth) and then using it to cover overexposed areas of the gumline that were removed because of severe damage or infection.

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at-a-glance

Gum Graft - Connective Tissue Grafts

avg. recovery
10 days
permanence
Temporary
application
Not Applicable
surgical
Yes
cost
$1500 - $6000

About the Procedure

In some cases, gum disease can progress past the gums and begin to affect the skeletal structure that supports the teeth. Gum graft surgery can be used to harvest a flap of healthy tissue from under the surface of the palate of the mouth, and then, suture it in the place where gum tissue has been removed because of gingivitis or periodontitis damage. The new tissue helps to heal the surgical wounds and to prevent the area from getting future infections. After removing the connective tissue from under the palate, the palatal flap is sutured back into its original position. Gum graft surgery is very commonly used for rebuilding gum tissue that has receded extensively or been removed surgically. This procedure can enhance the gumline’s appearance, and thereby the smile and self-esteem of the patient. Gum grafting is typically a quick outpatient procedure that does not require the use of general anesthesia. In most cases, localized anesthesia and IV sedatives are sufficient to keep patients pain free and relaxed throughout the surgery. Costs vary depending on several factors like location and surgeon’s reputation. However, the average cost is reported to be $500-$1200 for a single small procedure.

The goal of a gum graft is to improve the appearance of receding gums and improve sensitivity where gums have receded.

Recovery Notes

While it may take a week or two for your mouth to fully heal, you should be able to return to work or normal activity the day after surgery.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for a gum graft will have good overall oral health and has controlled the cause of their receding gums.

Not Recommended For

Gum grafts are not recommended for patients who have unhealthy gums as it is likely to fail or be subject to future recession. The teeth to be covered by a gum graft have to be healthy. Loose teeth may not serve as an adequate anchor for a gum graft.

Side Effects

Some discomfort is normal and to be expected. Slight bleeding from the surgery area is normal, however, extensive bleeding should not occur. Some swelling often occurs and this is normal in the healing process. Bruising may occur in surgical area.

Pros
  • gum recession
  • stop bone loss
  • reduce tooth sensitivity
  • protect roots
  • tooth decay
  • root decay
  • improved smile
  • even gumline
Cons
  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • loose sutures
  • tooth movement
  • infection
  • revision surgery
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