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Periodontal Disease: Soft Tissue Graft

When you look in the mirror, does your gumline look uneven? Or do you see too little gum? These are common effects of periodontal disease. A type of gum surgery called gingival surgery can lower or even out the gumline. And if more of the tooth needs to be exposed, gingival surgery can fix that, too. One type of gingival surgery is called a soft tissue graft.

Closeup of mouth with finger lifting upper lip to show uneven gumline.
Before surgery

Closeup of mouth with finger lifting upper lip to show evened-out gumline after surgery.
After surgery

How a soft tissue graft works

When the gum isn’t supported by bone, the gum can start to pull away. A graft can be used to fill in an area where the gum has receded. The graft tissue may be taken from the roof of the mouth or from a tissue bank:

  • Before surgery.  A gumline that has receded can expose the root. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities in the root. The uneven gumline may also be visible when you smile.

  • After surgery. Graft tissue covers part or all of the exposed root. This protects the root and prevents the gum from receding further. It can also improve your appearance.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.