Gingivale Graft (gum graft)

1. Why a gum graft?

The gingival graft allows to restore thickness and height to the weakened gum, thus stopping its recession. At once restorative, preventive and plastic, this surgery strengthens the supporting tissues to protect the teeth and, often, restore a pretty smile.


The gum consists of two tissue layers: the epithelium on the surface and the connective tissue in depth. The gum which is at the base of the tooth without adhering to it is called "free". It continues with the gum "attached" to the root and the alveolar bone. The lower the height of the attached gum, the faster it is necessary to intervene to hope for recovery.


Axial section of a molar
and periodontium


2. How to correct and stop the gum recession?

The gum covers the root of the teeth and the alveolar bone that holds them in the jaw. The gum graft is used to correct and stop his loss of height or "recession". Bare, the roots are indeed more vulnerable to cavities and dental hypersensitivities which can affect the quality of life. In addition, the teeth seem longer and interdental spaces appear, unattractive manifestations and often badly experienced when they concern the anterior teeth.


The gingival recession is linked to the association of:

  • Predisposing factors: shape of the alveolar bone, dental malposition, fine gum, age.

  • Triggering factors: traumatic brushing, bruxism, badly conducted orthodontics, badly adapted crowns or amalgams. Gingivitis and periodontitis are also triggering factors but the bone loss being too important, the gingival graft alone is not indicated.


3. What type of intervention

During the gum grafting, your periodontologist will take a "piece" of gum or palate, the "graft", to cover the roots exposed by the recession.

  • epithelio-conjunctive graft: it is used in the case of very advanced recessions; however, the "patch" effect due to the difference in colour of the grafted gum forces us to reserve it for non-visible areas (lower incisors).

  • "buried conjunctive" graft: it consists of sliding the conjunctive graft under the existing gum, which is too thin and has been delicately lifted from its support beforehand. These two thicknesses (gum and connective graft) are then placed back onto the root which was bare to cover it. This technique gives a very good aesthetic result because the graft is hidden under the gum of the recipient site.

The gingival graft takes place in three main stages:

  • preparation of the recipient site

  • graft removal

  • its suture at the level of the recession.


The operation takes place under local anesthesia.



4. Prerequisites

Three prerequisites for a gum graft:

  • in the case of general diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension or AIDS., the biological constants must be balanced.

  • the patient must have perfect, non-traumatic oral hygiene.

  • tobacco should be banned several weeks before and after the intervention.


5. Post operation

After a gum graft, it is more important than ever to have good oral hygiene.

  • good brushing with fluoride toothpaste,

  • daily dental floss,

  • a healthy diet

  • regular dental and periodontal checkups.

Maintaining healthy gums is essential to maintain your overall oral health and therefore to preserve your smile.

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