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Periodontal Surgery—Soft Tissue Graft
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Periodontal Surgery—Soft Tissue Graft?

Periodontal disease often refers to bacterial plaque and infections around the gum and tooth root. It can happen around one or several teeth. In some cases, the gum tissue is damaged or shrinks. In its more advanced stages, surgery to create new gum tissue (and even bone growth) can be done. There are several techniques used to encourage new gum growth using donor tissue, man-made material, or tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth.

Periodontal Disease

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This surgery is needed to:

  • Cover tooth roots that are exposed, which can lead to bone loss and decay
  • Reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Even out gum tissue due to recession

Not all grafts are successful over time. The level of disease and your personal care routines will affect success.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have periodontal surgery, your dentist will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Changes in gum appearance; uneven gum line
  • Graft failure
  • Bleeding
  • Reaction to the sedation medicines (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Other health conditions, like diabetes