Soft Tissue Grafting

As with many other procedures that are performed in our Eustis periodontal offices, periodontists are specifically trained to alter the gum tissue in order to improve protective function, treat recession or improve aesthetics. Our gum tissue, or gingiva, serves multiple purposes in our mouth. The gingival tissue wraps around the tooth to provide the first line of defense against bacteria, toxins, and food debris from penetrating deep under the gums. Inflammation of this tissue is called "gingivitis". Secondly, the gingiva provides a protective function against trauma and protects the root surface underneath from decay. In addition, the gingiva forms a familiar "frame" around the tooth and gives specific shape to our teeth that together form the smile.
There are multiple conditions that affect the gum tissue requiring a periodontist to perform procedures that are collectively known as "gum grafting" or "gingival grafting". There are many techniques that exist that have improved upon the traditional techniques.

Anatomy of the Gums

It is important to understand the anatomy of the gums prior to understanding what types of procedures alter the anatomy of the gums. The gingival tissues are similar throughout the mouth, but there are two essential types of gingival tissue. The first type can be found on the roof of our mouth. We refer to this thick, fibrous tissue as keratinized tissue. There should be a band of keratinized tissue wrapped around each tooth. This tissue provides a protective function and is important to resist the trauma of brushing our teeth or eating food. The second type of tissue is like the floor of our mouth or the inside of our cheek. This tissue is called alveolar mucosa. This tissue is loose and movable. Its function is to provide mobility and stretching of the lips, cheeks and tongue. The volume and constitution of these two tissues are taken into account when gingival grafting procedures are recommended.

When Gingival Grafting is Needed

Gingival grafting is used most commonly to treat gum recession. When the gum recedes, the root surface becomes exposed. An exposed root surface is unaesthetic, can be very sensitive to cold, and susceptible to decay or breakdown from tooth brushing. Gingival grafting procedures can reverse this damage and improve the long term prognosis of the tooth. There are multiple techniques that can be utilized to treat gum recession.
A complete intraoral exam and consultation will allow Dr. Richardson to prescribe the treatment that has the largest likelihood of success with the least amount of discomfort, please contact our office by calling 352-589-1973 or click here to schedule an appointment.   

To view our soft tissue grafting slide show, click here