3 Dental Procedures That Can Help Improve The Look And Health Of Your Gums

Gums are soft tissue that frame the bottom of the teeth in order to prevent the sensitive tooth roots from being exposed. Genetics or dental infections can alter the look of your gums over time due to the gums receding away from the teeth. Receding gums run the risk of exposing the teeth roots, which can cause pain and sensitivity, and can impact your self-esteem due to the cosmetic impact of the problem.

Your dentist can potentially help the look and health of your gums with a few different cosmetic dentistry procedures aimed targeting the soft tissue.

Gum Graft

Do your gums look receding because of a lack of gum tissue? Whether you were born with insufficient gum tissue or the tissue eroded due to infection or disease, your dentist can potentially fix that with a gum graft procedure.

A gum graft requires donor tissue either from inside your own mouth – often from the roof of your mouth – or an outside donor source. Your dentist will extract or retrieve the donor material and then stitch the donor material into the areas of weakness where you have insufficient gum tissue.

Over time, the donor tissue and existing site tissue will fuse together as the tissue heals. You might then have sufficient and attractive gum tissue or you might need to proceed to a shaping procedure to make the gums look more natural.


On the opposite side of the spectrum from a gum graft is a gingivectomy, which is a surgical trimming of excess gum tissue. Excess gum tissue usually occurs when the gums start to sag and pull away from the teeth due to inflammation from an infection. The sagging gums can form small pockets that grow over time and loosen the gum tissue.

A gingivectomy involves the dentist cutting those pockets, pulling the tissue taut to the base of the teeth, trimming off any excess tissue, and then stitching the remaining tissue into place. The stitched gums will heal in the position back around your teeth. The gingivectomy alone might fix your problem or, as was the case with a gum graft, you might need to move on to a shaping procedure.


Gingivoplasty is the shaping procedure sometimes required after a gum graft, a gingivectomy, or simply because your natural gums are too high or uneven on the teeth. The procedure involves the dentist using a scalpel to carefully shape the gums around the base of the teeth for the most natural yet attractive appearance.