This Blog Has Been Medically Reviewed By Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi

Mature Man Smiling Slightly to Hide TeethDr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi understand that many patients may be anxious about receiving treatment for their gum recession. Some patients even delay care, which can make problems like gum recession even worse. This condition occurs when the gums begin to resorb or shrink and pull away from the tooth. If left untreated, the gums can recede so far that the tooth roots become exposed. It is important to treat this condition as soon as possible because the gaps and spaces left between the gums and teeth can harbor bacteria, leading to infection of the gums or even the underlying bone.

Why You May Need a Gum Graft

While maintaining good oral hygiene is important to protecting the health of your gums and preventing gum recession, the truth is that some people are more susceptible to this condition than others, regardless of their oral hygiene habits.

Reasons why you may need gum grafting surgery include:

  • Naturally thin gum tissue
  • Rigorous teeth brushing
  • Picking at the gum tissue
  • Progression of gum recession
  • Before or after orthodontic treatment
  • Health conditions such as dry mouth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Esthetic concern

It is essential to keep regular appointments with your general dentist if you fall into any of the categories listed above. This will give them the ability to catch gum recession early so they can refer you to our practice for gum grafting treatment or to receive preventative treatment to strengthen your gums against recession.

Types of Gum Grafting Surgery

When you visit our periodontists for an initial visit, they will perform a full evaluation of your mouth and take any needed X-rays or images. Our team will work with you to develop a treatment plan you will be comfortable with and will help achieve your goals.

There are four main types of gum grafting surgery that Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi can perform in-house:

Connective-tissue grafts

This gum grafting surgery is the most common type used to treat gum recession that has lead to root exposure. To perform the procedure, our doctors will remove a small piece of tissue from beneath the skin of the roof of your mouth and attach it to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed tooth root. Once the graft has been placed, they will close the skin in the roof of the mouth with stitches.

Free gingival grafts

This gum grafting procedure is very similar to a connective-tissue graft. However, the free gingival graft uses a small amount of tissue directly from the roof of the mouth, rather than from beneath a flap of skin in the roof of the mouth. Once the tissue has been removed, it is attached to the gum area being treated. Patients who have naturally thin gums are often the best candidates for this type of gum grafting procedure, as it successfully enlarges the gums.

Pedicle grafts

To perform this type of gum grafting surgery, our doctors will take tissue from healthy gums around or near the tooth area to be treated. This tissue is only partially cut away from the healthy gums, and one edge will remain. Our doctors will then pull the gum down over the exposed root and sew it into place. Only patients who have healthy gum tissue near the affected tooth qualify for this type of gum grafting procedure.


This type of gum grafting surgery uses medically processed donated human tissue as the grafting material and avoids the need for harvesting tissue from the patient. This grafting material has been proven safe and effective in treating dental soft tissue conditions.

Call MK Periodontics and Implants Today to Schedule Your Initial Visit

Hearing that you have gum recession is never fun. Please know that we are here to make your experience as relaxed, open, and friendly as possible.

Call our office in Tacoma (253) 752-6336 today to schedule your initial visit.