When the gums have receded due to gum disease or over-zealous toothbrushing, gum graft surgery can be performed to regrow the gums to a higher or back to original position, depending on case-by-case basis. In this procedure, a small piece of gum tissue is taken from the palate (donor site) and secured to the recession defect (recipient site) using very fine stitches. The recipient site will take about 1 week to heal. There is no removal of tooth or bone, just ‘manipulation of gum tissues’ using delicate microsurgical instruments. There should be minimal pain and swelling after the procedure. During the 1 week of healing, the patient may experience dull ache from the surgical sites but can be controlled effectively using painkillers.
The objectives of gum graft procedure are:
1. For complete recession coverage for teeth with no bone loss
2. Reduce recession for teeth with existing bone loss
3. Reduce root sensitivity
4. Prevent decay to exposed root dentine
5. Prevent further recession
6. Increase thickness of gums