Gum graft is a surgical procedure in which the gum tissue is grafted to cover exposed root surfaces or to improve a band of keratinized gum that works as a barrier of bacteria. By grafting gum, periodontal health can be improved. Gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth which can lead to sensitivity and put teeth at a higher risk of damage or disease due to the loosening of their attachment within the gums and bones of the jaw. Should gum recession continue, bone and keratinized tissue will be at greater risk of being damaged and permanently lost around the teeth. The aim of a gum graft is to extend keratinized tissue of the gums to cover tooth roots, which restores their firm placement with in the jaw and prevents further damage.
Traditional gum grafting will have a piece of the gums harvested from the roof of the mouth and sutured facing the exposed root to increase the lost keratinized tissue. All of grafting techniques use skin from a tissue bank to supply the surgeon with larger amounts when needed in larger areas.