Corner of Date and Grand
850 E. Grand Avenue, Suite A
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 741-4061
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There are many parts to a beautiful smile, and one important element is gingival tissue. Your gums frame your teeth, and just like a favorite picture, you want that frame to be "just right" to show off your teeth and smile to best advantage. Problems like recession (missing gum tissue) or a "gummy" smile (too much gum tissue) will make that frame be less than its best, and can also compromise the overall health of your teeth. Since periodontists work with gingival tissue, they are often called Plastic Surgeons of the Mouth.

Gingival (Gum Tissue) Grafting

When the area to be treated primarily involves the gum tissue, this is called "gingival grafting" or "gingival plastic surgery." We can place or replace gum tissue  to improve esthetics, help alleviate sensitivity caused by exposed root surfaces, and repair areas where the loss of gum tissue is compromising the health and longevity of teeth. Here are some "before" and "after" photos of  typical problems that grafting gum tissue can help.

Gingival (Gum Tissue) Grafting

Gingival recession exposes the
darker root surface of the teeth,
and can lead to a more
"self-conscious" smile.
Now the dark root surfaces are
covered with healthy tissue and
the smile looks more natural

Gingival recession in the front of
the mouth can compromise the

After gingival grafting covered
the exposed roots, the smile looks
more natural.

Here, the abutment on the implant
was visible through the thin
gingival tissue.

After gingival grafting, the smile is
much more natural.

Gum recession can occur when
teeth are being moved in
orthodontic treatment.

Gingival grafting can be done
during orthodontic treatment to
cover exposed teeth roots and
prevent further recession from

Lack of a gingival ‘seal’ has led to
plaque retention, inflammation and
sensitive tissue.

Gingival grafting has restored the
“seal” and eliminated sensitivity
and inflammation.

Gingival recession and the lack of
a “seal” can compromise the
longevity of these teeth.

Restoring the “seal” dramatically
improves the gingival health of
these teeth - and their long term

Recession has led to sensitivity and
compromised the “seal” around
this molar.

Sensitivty has been eliminated and
the seal restored with a band of
firm gum tissue.

Gingival (Gum Tissue) Contouring

Occasionally, teeth do not appear to emerge fully from the gums, and what may look like "tiny teeth" or "baby teeth" is actually a problem with a gum level that is too low on the upper teeth. The crowns of the teeth are fully formed, but are partially covered by gum tissue. This can also happen when patients take some forms of medication which promote rapid overgrowth of gum tissue. We can "recontour" the gums to expose more of the tooth, giving you a more pleasant and "grown-up" smile.

Gingival Contouring

Before gingival contouring, the
teeth appear to be small because
of the "gummy" smile.
After gingival contouring, the teeth
appear longer which gives a more
beautiful smile.

Having a "gummy" smile made
this large man self-conscious
about his appearance.

After gingival contouring, he
was more comfortable and
confident with his smile.

Helping You Look Your Best

When missing teeth have been replaced by a fixed bridge, the area under the "false teeth" can sometimes shrink. This happens because when there are no longer tooth roots in the bone, the bone can "resorb" as the body starts taking away the actual bone, making it thinner and more narrow. As the bone resorbs, the gum tissue also shrinks down. This can greatly affect the esthetics and make the bridge look much less natural. Now we have ways of "plumping up" the gum tissue as well as actually putting back some of the lost bone, making a much more natural look for your bridge.

Ridge Augmentation

This smile is compromised because
the bone where the tooth is
missing has resorbed.

After augmenting the ridge where
the tooth was missing, the gum
around the false tooth looks much
more natural.


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