Soft Tissue Grafting
Soft Tissue Grafts
Another surgical technique commonly used by a periodontist is soft tissue grafting. These types of grafts are usually chosen to correct areas of severe recession. Recession is most often caused by either (1) over aggressive back and forth brushing or (2) periodontal disease. In either case, the gum line has receded and the underlying bone has also receded. When too much gum tissue has been lost through recession, it is necessary to build back a new protective level of gum tissue through soft tissue grafting. The source of the graft is most often the soft tissue of the palate next to the back teeth. This tissue has the same make-up of the tissue lost through recession and grows back completely after a few weeks. Stitches are used to connect the graft to the area of recession. A putty-like bondage is used to cover and protect the donor and graft site. The same postoperative medications are used as with the other surgical techniques.
This is a very predictable technique to stop further recession, build-back lost tissue and cover exposed root surfaces. An additional benefit that soft tissue grafting can provide is improved cosmetics. If the recession is in the upper front teeth and the teeth have started to look longer, soft tissue grafting can return the gum line to a normal healthy appearance.