Soft Tissue Grafting
Soft tissue grafting is a treatment used to treat gum recession that has left the root of the tooth exposed. It is a procedure performed to recreate your gum line and to prevent further recession of the gums. Gum recession is mainly caused due to aggressive brushing, gum diseases, previous dental treatments, tooth loss or gums which are naturally thin. The 3 different types of soft tissue grafts are:
- Free gingival graft: In this case a strip of tissue removed from the roof of the mouth is stitched to the grafting site to promote natural tissue growth.
- Connective tissue graft: In cases of root exposure due to gum recession, a small flap of sub epithelial connective tissue removed from the mouth is grafted and sutured at the site of recession.
- Pedicle graft: In this procedure, the gums of the adjacent tooth are shared with the affected gum. A flap of tissue is partially cut and moved sideways to cover the root.
During the process of soft tissue grafting the area above and below the gum line is cleaned and you will be given local anaesthesia at the site of surgery. A small incision will be made at the recipient site in order to create a small pocket in which the donor tissue is placed. The donor tissue is generally larger than the incision and hence some excess tissue is usually present. Medications may be applied topically to promote healing at the site of the graft. Finally, the site of the graft is stitched closed and surgical material is placed to protect the sensitive area. Complete healing of the wound takes about six weeks after the procedure.
Soft tissue grafting helps to increase comfort and decrease sensitivity of the tooth and gum area, improves gum health and makes your smile look more symmetrical.