March 3, 2023

When Is It Too Late for Gum Grafting

Gum grafting is a common procedure used to treat severe gum recession and prevent further damage to the teeth and gums. But when is it too late for gum grafting? In this article, we'll explore this question in-depth and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your oral health.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession is a common dental problem that occurs when the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, exposing the root. This can happen gradually over time, or it can occur suddenly. When the root is exposed, it can cause a variety of problems, including tooth sensitivity, decay, and even tooth loss.

Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene: If you don't brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up on your teeth and gums, leading to gum disease and gum recession.
  • Brushing too hard: Brushing too vigorously or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can cause the gum tissue to recede over time.
  • Gum disease: This is an infection of the gum tissue that can cause inflammation and damage to the supporting structures of the teeth, leading to gum recession.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to gum recession due to genetic factors.
  • Aging: As we age, our gum tissue can naturally recede.

Understanding Gum Grafting

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that involves taking tissue from one part of the mouth and transplanting it to the area where the gum has receded. This tissue is typically taken from the roof of the mouth or a donor source. There are three types of gum grafting procedures: connective-tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts. Gum grafting is necessary when the gum tissue has receded to the point that the root of the tooth is exposed. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including gum disease, brushing too hard, or aging.

Factors That Affect the Success of Gum Grafting

The success of gum grafting depends on several factors, including the extent of the recession, the quality of the tissue used in the graft, and the skill of the dentist or periodontist performing the procedure. Proper aftercare is also essential for a successful outcome. Patients who smoke or have other underlying health issues may not be good candidates for gum grafting.

When Is It Too Late for Gum Grafting?

At our dental practice in Beverly, MA, we recommend gum grafting as early as possible when gum recession is detected. However, if the recession is severe and has progressed to the point where the tooth is loose, gum grafting may no longer be a viable option. In these cases, the focus may shift to preventing further damage to the teeth and gums and managing the symptoms of gum recession. However, every case is different, and it's important to consult with us to determine whether gum grafting is still an option for you.

Alternative Options for Severe Gum Recession

If gum grafting is not a viable option, there are several alternative options available for treating severe gum recession. Alternative options may include

  1. Scaling and root Planing to improve overall health of the gums.
  2. Bonding with tooth colored resin material to protect exposed and discolored root surfaces when grafting is not possible due to bone loss.
  3. Very severe cases may lead to tooth loss. In these situations we will replace missing teeth with dental implants.


At our dental practice in Beverly, MA, we are committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. If you're experiencing symptoms of gum recession, don't wait - schedule an appointment with us today to get the care you need. We will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs, whether that's gum grafting or an alternative option. With our expert care and guidance, you can protect your oral health and maintain a healthy, confident smile for years to come.

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