Gum Grafting

Santa Monica Bay Periodontics -  - Periodontics

Santa Monica Bay Periodontics

Periodontics located in Santa Monica, CA

A toothy smile isn’t just a cosmetic concern; it’s also a potentially serious oral health problem. To keep your gums healthy and your teeth intact, Sahar Shafi, DDS, at Santa Monica Bay Periodontics in Santa Monica, California, offers gum grafting. This quick and simple procedure can protect your tooth roots and restore balance to your smile. To learn more, call Santa Monica Bay Periodontics, or book an appointment online now.

Gum Grafting Q & A


What is gum grafting?

Gum grafting is a procedure that treats gum recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist removes healthy gum tissue from the roof of your mouth and implants it into your receding gums. This quick and relatively simple procedure helps protect your tooth roots from exposure and minimizes your chances of developing oral health problems, such as tooth loss.

What causes gum recession?

There are many reasons for receding gums, but the most common include:

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of the gums. It happens when plaque builds-up on your teeth at or below the gumline, ultimately causing small pockets of plaque in the space between your gums and teeth. While reversible in its early stages, periodontal disease can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss.


Many people are prone to gum recession due to genetics. If you’re at risk for receding gums, talk to Santa Monica Bay Periodontics about preventive measures you can take.

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can lead to plaque and bacteria build-up on your teeth and gums, which can cause gum disease. 

Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding puts stress on your teeth and gums, which can lead to gum recession. A night guard can reduce nighttime grinding when you sleep to relieve pressure from your gums.

Who needs gum grafting?

Santa Monica Bay Periodontics may recommend gum grafting if you have receding gums. When your gums recede, they leave your tooth roots exposed to damage, plaque build-up, and decay. 

Gums also help hold your teeth in place. Without a firm grip from your gums, your teeth are vulnerable to shifting and loosening.

Many people choose gum grafting for cosmetic reasons. A disproportionate balance between your teeth and gums leads to a toothy smile in which your teeth look much larger than they should.

What happens during gum grafting?

After administering an anesthetic, your periodontist surgically removes a small portion of healthy gum tissue and implants it to your areas of gum recession. There are three primary techniques:

Connective tissue graft

Your periodontist creates a small flap of tissue from the roof of your mouth and stitches the tissue onto your gums before stitching up the flap.

Lateral graft

In a lateral graft, your periodontist removes tissue from near the exposed tooth and stretches it down to cover your tooth root.

Free gingival graft

A free gingival graft is ideal if you have very thin gum tissue. During this procedure, your periodontist uses healthy gum tissue from the very top layer of the roof of your mouth.

Santa Monica Bay Periodontics also offers the innovative Chao Pinhole® Technique, which results in less blood, pain, and a shorter recovery period than traditional gum graft surgery.

For more information about gum grafting, call Santa Monica Bay Periodontics, or schedule an appointment online today.