The gum tissues around teeth play an important role in the health of the mouth and teeth.  The teeth are supported into the jaw bone and are connected by very small elastic fibers that connect the teeth to the bone.  This gives the teeth ability to move slightly when loaded and also gives the nerves the ability to sense position and pressure.  The gum tissues that wrap around the bone and forms a sleeve that surrounds the neck of the tooth.  This sleeve creates an impermeable seal to keep bacteria out.  When the sleeve shrinks from recession it leaves the tooth at risk for an

  • infection
  • food impaction
  • periodontal disease
  • sensitivity to cold and hot

In this video Dr. Antolak performs a gingival graft on his mother to cover the root surface of a lower tooth that is at risk for potential problems. Similar to this photo the tissue is harvested from the hard palate and sutured to cover up the root surface and giving her a more predictable safety net for many years of service.

If you have recession, sensitivity and root exposure then this gingival surgery may be for you.  This procedure is actually safe because the graft comes directly from the patient.  There is a little discomfort on the palate, but we fabricate a very thin cover that protects the roof of the mouth where the graft is taken.  People say is feels like burning your mouth on hot cheese from pizza.  The graft usually takes around 6 weeks to heal so it is necessary to be very careful during the healing phase especially on the gum area where the graft is sutured in place.  If you have questions then give Dr. Antolak a call at (586)247-3500 or visit the web site at

Dr. Antolak serves patients in the Shelby Twp, Macomb Twp, Rochester Hills and Sterling Heights area in a very relaxing high-tech dental office.