When recession of the gingiva happens, the body loses natural protection against both bacterial penetration and stress. When gum recession is difficult, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option. When there is an only a minor recession, some healthy gingiva frequently remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment apart from modifying home care practices is obligatory. But when recession reaches the mucosa, the 1st defensive position against bacterial penetration is lost.
Additionally, gum recession often leads to root sensitivity to cold and warm foods as well as an ugly appearance of the gum and tooth. When heavy, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or delicately moved over from adjacent areas to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in just such a way as to cover the exposed part of the root.
The gingival graft process is extremely predictable and leads to a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.