Gum Grafting

Gum Grafting Specialist
A gum graft, or gingival graft, is a restorative procedure often done by Dr. Lawrence Zager from Millennium Park Oral Surgery in Chicago, Illinois. The goal is to restore and improve the aesthetics for missing or receding gum tissue around implants and teeth.

Gum Grafting Q & A

Who needs a gum graft?

Gum recession is a very common problem. As you grow older, the gum tissue that surrounds and stabilizes your teeth starts to recede or pull away. This exposes more of the tooth root, leaving it vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. About 15-20% of the patients ages 20-35 have some sort of gum recession and may require grafting. About 75% of people older than 50 will require some form of gum grafting due to age and normal chewing. A gum graft helps repair the deficient tissue to prevent further tooth and bone damage.

How is a gum graft done?

In cases where gum grafting is needed for one or two teeth, the usual procedure is to take a graft from the roof of the mouth and transplant it to the receding gum area. In larger areas, where implants are being placed or where there are of three or more teeth needing gum grafting, the usual practice is to take a dermal graft from a human cadaver.

What to expect from a gum graft?

The whole idea of the gum grafting is to give the patient a more natural aesthetic or appealing smile. This is especially true for women who have a high lip line, who show more gum and teeth in their natural smile.

Whenever bone and gum grafting are done, Dr. Zager and his staff will reinforce proper nutrition, supplements and vitamins to improve the density of the developing bone and gums. This is especially important in elderly patients with osteoporosis, or younger people with issues like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or colitis. Dr. Zager will give you postoperative instructions about diet, physical activity, and oral hygiene. You may not be able to brush or floss until your mouth heals so you may have to alter your hygiene routine during the recovery period. Dr. Zager will provide you with a special rinse to control plaque buildup and enhance healing.

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