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Inside your mouth, gum tissue forms a barrier that resists the vigorous mechanical (and microbial) effects of eating, chewing and biting. Gums may begin to recede, or shrink down, for several reasons.

One is ineffective oral hygiene: This includes both inadequate brushing, which fails to remove dental plaque; and excessive brushing, which erodes the tissue. Foreign objects in the mouth that rub against the gums, like poorly fitting removable dentures, tongue bolts, or even fingernails, can also contribute to gum recession.

When the tooth's roots lose the protection of healthy gum tissue, they can become extremely sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, causing pain when you consume many foods and drinks. Worse, missing gum tissue makes it easier for bacteria to penetrate the roots and cause decay — or for minor trauma to result in rapid gum recession. In either case, the eventual result may be tooth loss. That's why proper treatment of gum recession is so important.


Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.


A gum graft can reduce further recession and bone loss. In some cases, it can cover exposed roots to protect them from decay. This may reduce tooth sensitivity and improve esthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or esthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.

A gingival graft is a procedure offered to patients with receding gums. The surgery consists in removing tissue from the patient’s palate and then grafting it onto the site of the recession (missing gum). In some cases, a technique is used involving donor tissue.

In some patients, recession is caused by improper brushing (too hard or not enough). Sometimes, a simple review of the patient’s brushing technique with the dentist or the hygienist is enough to stop the problem from worsening.

The benefits of a gingival graft:

  • Strengthens and stabilizes the gum covering the tooth.

  • Protects the tooth against recession.

  • Decreases sensitivity in teeth with recession by covering the root with new gum.

  • Depending on the case, can also restore an attractive smile.

Success rate

The rate of success and satisfaction is very high. In general, when patients brush properly, the success rate increases considerably.

People with receding gums have teeth that appear longer than normal. After a gum graft, the natural and normal appearance of the teeth will be restored.

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