Gum Graft

Louis C. Franzetti, DDS

Dentist & Periodontist located in Manhattan, New York, NY

Gum Graft Q & A

What is a gum graft?

Gum grafting, also called gingival grafting or periodontal plastic surgery, is a generic term for the performance of any of a number of Periodontal surgical procedures in which the gum tissue is grafted.

The goal is to cover exposed root surfaces or to increase the band of attached (keratinized) gum tissue around teeth.

3d illustration of a gum recesion

The exposure of the tooth root due to the loss of gum tissue around the neck of a tooth is referred to as gingival recession.

This can result in sensitivity or pain from the exposed tooth root. Recessions can also cause an unasthetic appearance, especially if located in the anterior esthetic zone (front teeth).

While not all cases of gingival recession require surgical correction, there are various options available.

The benefits of corrective therapy are decreased sensitivity through coverage of exposed root surfaces and the gain of attached gum tissue around the necks of the teeth.


Gum grafting, also known as a gingival graft or periodontal plastic surgery, is the surgical procedure to reverse gum recession.

Gum recession exposes the roots of teeth which can lead to sensitivity and put teeth at a higher risk of disease due to the loosening of their attachment within the gums and bone of the jaw.

Should gum recession continue, bone and gum tissue will be at greater risk of being damaged and permanently lost around the teeth.

Why do I need a gum graft?

The goal of a gum graft is to increase gum tissue volume and cover exposed tooth roots. In doing so, further damage is prevented and teeth are restored to their firm position within the jaw.

Options in gum grafting

Free gingival gum grafting:

A piece of the gum tissue is harvested from the roof of the mouth and sutured over the exposed root to increase the lost attached gum.

Sub Epithelial Connective Tissue Graft

takes tissue from under healthy gum tissue in the palate, which is placed at the area of gum recession. This procedure has the advantage of excellent predictability of root coverage, as well as decreased pain at the palatal donor site compared to the free gingival graft. The subepithelial connective tissue graft is a very common procedure for covering exposed root.

Lateral pedicle graft

Or pedicle graft, takes tissue from the area immediately adjacent to the gingival recession.This is not always an option, since there must be sufficient tissue immediately lateral to the recession.

Acellular dermal matrix graft

Uses donated medically processed human skin tissue as a source for the graft, such as Alloderm™. The advantages of this procedure are no need for a palatal donor site and the ability to treat multiple teeth. Clinical data show varying results

PRF or Platelet Rich Fibrin:

A small amount of blood is harvested and spun in a centrifuge. The formed fibrin clot is packed with blood-derived growth factors, extra cellular matrix, and hematopoietic stem cells. It is placed under the tissue above the area of gum recession.

Most often. Dr. Franzetti uses PRF in conjunction with the patient’s own tissue (autogenous graft).