What is gum grafting?

Gum grafting is a periodontal surgery used to address issues with your gum line. Gum grafting can be used to treat gum recession by covering exposed roots or for cosmetic reasons, such as creating a more pleasing smile. 

There are several gum grafting or receding gum treatments available. Our periodontists will work with you to evaluate your situation and help you decide on the right gum recession treatment for you. 

In gum grafting procedures, tissue is taken from elsewhere in your mouth — or acquired from a tissue bank — and then grafted (stitched) to the area requiring treatment. During the healing process, this grafted tissue integrates with the surrounding tissue where it was added, even forming new blood vessels which will help keep the tissue healthy.

Request An Appointment

New Patient Online Offer

Free Initial CT Scan with Paid Dental Implant Consult.

($345 Value!)

Call (650) 941-7300 today to schedule


Is gum recession a problem?

In short — yes. Gum recession is a problem because your gum tissue is there for a reason; it protects both your teeth and your tooth roots, which in turn helps maintain the health of your jawbone. 

Your oral health (and your overall health) are affected by numerous, interrelated systems. A problem in one area rarely stays isolated. Instead, problems cascade until they are more unpleasant and more difficult and costly to fix. 

As gums recede, they expose the tooth root. This exposure makes the root more vulnerable to decay, leading to tooth loss. In turn, tooth loss — left untreated — causes loss of jawbone. Over time this bone loss can endanger other teeth and can even change the shape of your face, creating the appearance of aging.

How to spot gum recession

Gum recession can be subtle, especially in its early stages, so you might not notice a problem right away. Early signs of gum recession include additional sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods or brushing your teeth. 

Because gum recession can be difficult to spot at home, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule of dental checkups. Our care team will look out for gum recession and other dental health concerns while they’re still in the early stages, and when treating receding gums will be most simple and effective.

What causes gum recession?

Gum recession is a common dental health problem, by some estimates affecting as many as half of American adults. 

There are several reasons you might be experiencing receding gums, including:

  • Problems with oral hygiene (which can include both too little brushing or brushing too roughly!)
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Periodontal disease
  • Genetics
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Smoking

Whatever the cause, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as the problem is identified.

Request Appointment

Receding gums treatment at Mid-Peninsula Dental Specialties

Like all of our surgical treatments, the process begins with a thorough evaluation of your situation, including any necessary diagnostic tests. We’ll also discuss ways to keep you most comfortable during your procedure, including anesthesia and sedation options. 

The gum grafting procedure typically takes one to two hours, after which you’ll be able to return home. As with other procedures, if you’ve received anesthesia, you’ll need to make sure you’ve lined up a ride home. 

The recovery process is relatively straightforward and what you would expect from other oral surgeries. You’re likely to be a little tired and sore at first, but you shouldn’t need much time away from your usual routine. 

Your periodontist will make sure you understand all the necessary aftercare for your procedure, including pain management and a modified, soft foods diet. Remember that carefully following all of your aftercare and recovery instructions helps ensure a successful healing process and long-lasting results. 

Our Happy Patients

Dr Phan and Dental Assistant Jane were really Pros from start to finish. Jane was absolutely hilarious and very attentive, while also totally professional. Her and Dr. Phan made a great team and were able to solve my complicated wisdom tooth situation and always kept me informed of every risk before proceeding. Thank you!

Michael B.

Dr Beckstead is amazing. I had partial bone loss around one of my teeth and three dentists think that I won't be able to keep it, but Dr Beckstead performed one surgery and saved my tooth. It has been over two years since the surgery and I have not had any more issues with that tooth.

Lucy X.

I'm actually looking forward to my next prophylaxis. That's a teeth cleaning, and I never would have believed I'd say such a thing. I want to give a special shout out to Cindy, who did a fantastic job on my teeth AND gave me the tools and knowledge to nip gum disease in the bud. Have you ever heard of a Sulcabrush? I have one now, and it's awesome. Look it up.

David R.

Dr. Beckstead and his entire team are exceptional. They provided kind, informative and top-notch care every step of the way. My nerves were immediately calmed when I entered the office and I realized that I was in the caring and experienced care of true professionals. The procedure was flawless, the outcome was terrific and the entire process was pain-free (in every way!).

Tina R.

Contact Us

Call (650) 941-7300 to schedule your appointment.



Mon – Thurs: 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Fri: 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Sat-Sun: Closed


20 First Street, Suite 200, Los Altos, CA 94022

Request Appointment