top of page

Soft tissue grafting

Gum Grafting

Gum grafting, also known as periodontal plastic surgery or gingival graft, is a dental procedure performed to treat gum recession by augmenting the amount of gum tissue around the teeth. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue wears away or pulls back from the tooth, exposing the tooth's root surfaces. This condition can lead to increased tooth sensitivity, aesthetic concerns, and potential long-term dental issues if left untreated. Gum grafting aims to restore and enhance the health and appearance of the gum tissues.

Cosmetic smile

There are several types of gum grafting procedures, and the choice of the specific technique depends on factors such as the extent of gum recession, the patient's oral health, and the dentist's recommendation. The three primary types of gum grafts are:​

  1. Connective Tissue Graft (CTG):

    • Procedure: In a connective tissue graft, the dentist or periodontist harvests a small piece of tissue from beneath the surface of the palate (roof of the mouth). The harvested tissue, known as subepithelial connective tissue, is then stitched to the area with gum recession.

    • Purpose: This type of graft is commonly used to treat multiple sites of recession or to cover exposed roots.

  2. Free Gingival Graft (FGG):

    • Procedure: Similar to connective tissue grafting, the free gingival graft involves taking tissue directly from the palate. However, in this technique, the tissue is obtained from the surface layer of the palate.

    • Purpose: Free gingival grafts are often employed when the primary goal is to increase the thickness of the gum tissue.

  3. Pedicle Grafts (Lateral or Coronally Positioned Flap):

    • Procedure: Pedicle grafts involve taking tissue adjacent to the area of recession. Instead of completely detaching the tissue, a flap is created and shifted to cover the exposed root.

    • Purpose: This technique is suitable when there is adequate gum tissue adjacent to the recession site.

  4. Acellular dermal matrix (ADM)

    • ADM refers to a grafting material made from donated human skin tissue that has been processed to remove cells, leaving behind a collagen matrix. In a gum graft procedure, the ADM graft is used to augment or replace gum tissue that has receded or been lost due to factors such as gum disease, trauma, or other dental issues. The use of ADM eliminates the need to harvest tissue from the patient's own palate (roof of the mouth), which can reduce discomfort and complications associated with traditional grafting techniques.

Benefits of Gum Grafting

  1. Improved Aesthetics: Gum grafting enhances the appearance of the smile by restoring a more natural and symmetrical gumline.

  2. Reduced Tooth Sensitivity: Covering exposed roots helps reduce tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet stimuli.

  3. Prevention of Further Recession: Gum grafting helps prevent the progression of gum recession, protecting the teeth from potential damage.

  4. Preservation of Tooth Structure: By addressing recession promptly, gum grafting helps preserve the underlying tooth structure and maintains oral health.


Gum grafting is a valuable and effective procedure for treating gum recession and improving the overall health and aesthetics of the smile. It is important for individuals experiencing gum recession or other periodontal concerns to consult with a dentist or periodontist for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Early intervention can help prevent further complications and preserve the health of the gums and teeth.

bottom of page