Gum Grafts

Gum grafts are one of the most delicate procedures performed in dentistry today. Gum grafts can help reduce gum recession and bone loss. Aside from a better smile, you may also notice reduced tooth sensitivity and improved dental health after a successful gum graft.

For examples of gum grafts performed at Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implants, please click on the video below.

If you are in need of gum grafts, there is no better choice than Beverly Hills Periodontics because we have developed the most advanced techniques for achieving beautiful results with virtually no pain!

I was always unhappy with the gum graft techniques that were taught and used by the majority of periodontists who performed gum grafts. Quite often, the gum graft didn’t look natural even after it had healed, and the whole process was very uncomfortable and painful for the patient.

This inspired me to search for better gum graft solutions and my research has helped me develop some extraordinary microsurgical techniques.

My gum graft microsurgery techniques accomplish the following:

  • It allows for a much more precise surgical method.
  • It allows for much faster healing.
  • It allows for excellent results with virtually no pain.

With this technique I can now achieve results with gum grafts that were previously thought to be impossible, and the results often astound my patients and my colleagues. In fact, I now teach these same gum graft techniques to other periodontists across the nation.

Known and respected as a leading expert for gum grafts, patients come from all over the country to have their grafts done at my office. My fees are actually quite moderate compared to what other periodontists charge for less effective techniques.

Gum Graft

 

 

 

 

Adequate attached (hard) gum. Prevents spontaneous gum recession. No gingival grafting is needed with gums in this state.

In dental health, there are two types of gum tissues that surround a tooth. The part of the gum that is around the neck of the tooth called the “gingiva” and this is firmly attached to the tooth and underlying bone.

This attached gingiva is immovable and tough, and is resistant to normal trauma from eating, tooth brushing, etc. When your teeth have a properly attached gumline, no gum grafts are needed.

Right below the attached gingiva a looser gum tissue called alveolar mucosa. This tissue is loose to allow the movement of the lip and the cheeks, but is not tough enough to withstand the normal trauma form eating and tooth brushing.

 

 

Genetically, we all have different widths and thicknesses of attached gingiva. Some people are born with thin or insufficient attached gingiva. In these cases the gum slowly continues to recede over time, even though the patient may be very dedicated to oral health. This situation is not an infection, as seen with periodontal disease, but it still needs to be treated as such.

Unfortunately, when gums recede, bone recession is occurring at the same time. This is caused because the bone, which is just under the gum, will not allow itself to become exposed to the oral cavity. As a result, it moves down with the gum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insufficient attached gum results in recession starting. Insufficient attached gum leads to gradual loss of gum and bone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lack of attached gum with resulting recession.

 

Note gum pulling away when cheek muscle retracted. The bone that previously covered the root has also receded.

 

A lack of attached gingiva is sometimes associated with a high frenum attachment, which exaggerates the pull on the gum margin. A frenum is a naturally occurring muscle attachment, normally seen between the front teeth (either upper or lower). It is normal to have a frenum, but it should not pull on the gum margin or recession will occur. If pulling is seen, the frenum is surgically released from the gum with a frenectomy. Often a new band of hard gum is also added to re-establish an adequate amount of attached gingiva (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child with naturally occuring high frenum attachment. High frenum with lack of attached gum causing muscle pull and tooth separation. After frenum removal, and addition of adequate attached gingiva.

 

With the wear and tear of time, even normal attached gum can be worn away, generally from vigorous brushing. This often happens in people with naturally thin tissues, or when the tissues have been stretched during orthodontics. If there is still adequate attached gum to act as a barrier to the muscle, the treatment for gum recession is to ensure further damage isn’t done when brushing.

However, if the attached gum is worn to the point where it cannot resist the constant pull of the mucosa, gum recession will continue unless a new hard band of gum is placed. Unchecked, the gum recession can cause tooth loss as the bone recedes with the tissue and tooth support weakens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recession associated with a lack of attached gingiva. After placement of a gum graft, adequate attached gingiva to prevent further bone/tissue loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recession with no attached gum. Without treatment, the recession will continue. The root is difficult to clean, leading to plaque formation and inflammation.

 

After placement of new attached gum.

The replacement of missing attached gum is called gingival grafting. The muscle that is pulling down on the edge of the gum is first surgically resected and repositioned away from the gum margin. Then a small piece of attached gingiva is taken from the roof of the mouth, just adjacent to the back teeth, and transplanted to the site in question.

The new tissue reattaches and reforms a new layer of attached gum, which should last a lifetime with proper care. The roof of the mouth heals quickly, just like a skinned knee would. With this procedure the root is not covered, and the tissue stays at the same level as before, except with attached gingiva at the margin. Gingival grafting procedures are very easy on the patient, and rarely require more than over-the-counter pain pills post-operatively (ibuprofen).

Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Perhaps you wish to enhance your smile by covering one or more of these roots that make your teeth appear too long. Or, maybe you’re not bothered by the appearance of these areas, but you cringe because the exposed roots are sensitive to hot or cold foods and liquids.

Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons, including aggressive tooth brushing or periodontal disease. You may not be in control of what caused the recession, but prior to treatment we can help you identify the factors contributing to the problem. Once these contributing factors are controlled, a soft tissue graft procedure will repair the defect and help to prevent additional recession and bone loss.

Gum Grafts – How they work

During a gum graft procedure, a small strip of gum tissue is taken 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. The unique gum graft techniques perfected by Dr. Madison can correct most gum defects effectively, and comfortably.

Gum Grafts – Before and After Photos

The following photos were taken before and after gum graft procedures performed by Dr. Miles Madison of Beverly Hills Periodontics.

Gum Grafts – Taking the next step

A soft tissue 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 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.

At Beverly Hills Periodontics, we offer the most advanced soft tissue grafting (gum graft) techniques for safe and effective management of gum defects. Many of these procedures were developed by Dr. Madison with the goal of achieving optimum results, with total patient comfort and satisfaction.