All You Need To Know About Gum Graft

People have different reasons for fixing a gum graft. Some go for gum surgery for cosmetic reasons, to improve their smile, while others choose to get it because it is necessary and prevents further gum damage. Most people don’t notice on time that they are suffering from gum recession, a condition where the gums pull up to expose the root of the tooth gum recession poses a big problem to your health or appearance. A sign that you may need this surgery is if you notice increased sensitivity in the tooth. Specialist dentists, called periodontists, are usually the ones who would attend to you if you need to get a gum graft, and Dentakay Dental Clinic has some of the best.

What is a Gum Graft?

Another name for a gum graft is gingival graft or periodontal plastic surgery. Gum grafting is a type of dental surgery used to repair gum recession. Gum recession is a common dental issue that affects about 4-12% of adults and is often unnoticeable until severe. In gum recession, the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing the underlying root. This may cause tooth decay, bone loss around teeth, and sensitivity. 

A gum graft is a simple procedure that takes healthy gum from the roof of the mouth and uses it to replace lost gum tissue. 

Types of Gum Graft

Different gum grafting techniques exist, and each is recommended primarily based on the degree of gum recession and whether your gum has receded between the teeth or just on the front surface. 

However, they all share a similarity; they involve taking donor tissue from another part of the mouth and attaching it to the receded gums. 

Connective tissue graft

This is the most common method by periodontists. In this method, a small flap of skin is cut at the roof of the mouth, otherwise called a trap door. The connective tissue from this flap is called subepithelial tissue. It is removed and then attached to the gum tissue around the tooth root.   

Free gingival graft

This is in contrast to the “trap door” method and is usually employed for thin gums. Here the dentist will remove a small piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth (the palate) and attach it to the affected receded gum. A free gingival graft is an excellent technique as it prevents further recession.

Pedicle graft 

This technique involves harvesting gum tissue from an area close to the tooth, unlike the mouth’s roof with gum recession. This is a successful procedure undertaken by periodontists only when there is sufficient healthy gum tissue in the area. It is usually successful because it doesn’t stop blood flow in the tissues involved.

What to do before gum graft surgery 

A graft surgery doesn’t usually require much preparation. It typically involves consultation with a periodontist to examine the health of your gums. The dentist will also measure the pockets around the teeth to determine how bad the recession is around each tooth and the best gum grafting technique to use. 

Depending on the level of gum recession, the dentist may want to monitor it closely or may grant a go-ahead for the surgery. During your visit, your periodontist will also discuss recovery options and aftercare with you in detail.

What to expect during the gum graft surgery

Since the periodontist has previously identified the grafting site and tooth with gum recession, the surgery doesn’t take much time. You’ll be ushered into the procedure room and given local anesthesia to numb the teeth and gum in that area and to make you comfortable. You’ll also be offered several options, from oral sedation to nitrous oxide, so that you can choose. 

Depending on the gum grafting technique, the periodontist will get to work immediately harvesting healthy gum tissue from one site in the mouth and attaching it to the affected site.

Recovery and post-operation care

For a quick recovery, it’s essential to follow all instructions to the letter. Take recommended medications when due. Some specific instructions to hasten recovery include the following:

  • Do not brush or floss the gum line treated until it has healed.
  • Rinse your mouth with the recommended antibacterial mouth rinse to prevent plaque during the healing process.
  • Take a soft diet for the first two weeks after surgery. This involves eating soft-boiled eggs, cooked vegetables, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and others to avoid damaging the graft.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about gum graft surgery.

How long does gum graft surgery take?

The time of the surgery depends on the number of teeth affected by gum recession. A gum graft would take about an hour, but multiple gum grafts in different areas of the mouth would take longer.

Does gum graft surgery hurt?

The procedure doesn’t hurt as your periodontist will place you under local or general anaesthesia, so you don’t feel any pain. Instead of pain, you would feel numb when the procedure is ongoing. However, you may experience mild soreness after the procedure, but your periodontist will administer medications to relieve the pain and discomfort.

How much does a gum tissue graft cost?

The cost of getting gingival grafting differs from one dental clinic to another. It also depends on how much work is done on your mouth/gum. However, most dental companies may cover a part of it if the surgery was done for health reasons. You can also talk to your periodontist for payment options. Find out the cost of gum graft surgery

Why should I get gum grafting surgery?

Gum tissue grafting has several benefits. It reduces the risk of developing gum disease and reduces the risk of cavities. It can also stop teeth sensitivity and improve your smile. 


Most people develop gum recession gradually, and that’s why they remain unaware of their condition until it’s too late. Gum recession doesn’t just tamper with your smile appearance. It leaves the root of your teeth exposed, making them extra sensitive to cold and hot sensations. Gum graft surgery is the perfect solution to remedying this problem. It’s a simple and successful procedure that produces the best results if you follow the post-surgery instructions.