The Difference Between an Autograft, Allograft, and Xenograft

the difference between gum grafts

If you have gum recession, treating this condition has numerous benefits for both your oral function and the appearance of your smile. Healthy gums seal out bacteria, help stabilize your teeth, and give your smile a symmetrical look. One of the most common treatments for receding gums is gum grafting, which uses your tissue (autograft), tissue from a donor (allograft), or tissue from an animal (xenograft). In general, there are a few distinct differences between these types of tissue grafts. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson has the training and experience to determine which solution is best for your unique situation.


Common Gum Graft Options


Autogenous soft tissue grafts are often taken from the roof of your mouth (soft palate). This is one of the safest and most effective grafting techniques available. Autogenous grafts are living tissues with cells that aid in healing.

Pros: Fast healing, no contraindications, minimal risk of infection

Cons: Relies on patient tissue quality, multiple surgical sites, limited treatment at one time



An allograft is sterilized and medically processed soft tissue from an organ donor. This tissue is a safe, viable option for patients who may not have enough tissue of their own for the procedure. Treatment is often less painful without harvesting tissue from the palate.

Pros: No second surgical site, short procedure, safe alternative to patient’s tissue

Cons: Risk of rejection by the body, longer healing and incorporation



A xenograft is sterilized and processed tissue derived from an animal (generally a cow or pig). More of this tissue is readily available so that more areas of recession can be treated at one time. This tissue is not living and results in slower healing.

Pros: Unlimited supply, proven safe grafting method, no second surgery

Cons: Possible rejection or failure to incorporate with the body, longer healing


The Benefits of Gum Grafting

Dr. Anderson has been providing specialized gum grafting solutions for many years, utilizing minimally invasive techniques to improve patient comfort and healing. An expert in soft tissue treatments, she has the extensive training and experience to determine which option is best for you. Patients benefit long-term from her personalized treatment, including:

  • Preventing further progression of gum recession
  • Re-establishing a protective barrier around teeth
  • Reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth loss
  • Establishing stronger, thicker, and healthier gums


Struggling with Gum Recession?

If you’ve noticed the signs of receding gums or are experiencing sensitive teeth, don’t wait to schedule a consultation with Dr. Anderson. With gentle skill, she can restore your gum tissues and improve both the function and aesthetics of your smile. Schedule an appointment with Anderson Periodontal Wellness online or by calling (248) 480-4910 today.

How Technology Plays a Role in Esthetic Crown Lengthening

Dental Laser For Soft Tissue Grafting

If you’ve ever thought you had small or “hidden” teeth, then you may have what is known as a “gummy” smile. This condition can develop functional concerns, though patients often seek treatment for cosmetic purposes. Board-certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson, frequently treats patients in this situation to improve smile aesthetics as well as restore oral health and function. A gum specialist, Dr. Anderson uses the latest minimally invasive techniques to complete aesthetic crown lengthening in Bloomfield Hills, MI with accuracy and predictability.


What Causes a “Gummy” Smile?

Though numerous causes exist that result in a “gummy” smile, Dr. Anderson often diagnoses patients with a condition known as “altered passive eruption”. This occurs when tissue and bone do not contract, or migrate, after the teeth have erupted, leaving the gums covering the crowns. The result is noticeably short teeth and an uneven gum line that many patients find unattractive. Alternative etiologies can exist that produce a “gummy” smile, so it’s beneficial to seek the expertise of an experienced periodontist like Dr. Anderson to receive a proper diagnosis.

The Benefit of Digital Treatment Planning

Digitally planning an aesthetic crown lengthening case has numerous benefits for both the patient and the clinician. By using state-of-the-art planning tools, Dr. Anderson can complete a digital smile design before your surgery. You’ll be able to see a digital simulation of your altered smile along with physical wax-ups to give your new look a “test drive”.

Dr. Anderson also uses a sophisticated scanner to take digital impressions to track the progress of your treatment and ensure fantastic aesthetic results. Digitally driven treatment removes the guesswork from the process, which is especially critical when dealing with the “aesthetic zone”, or the teeth that show when you smile.

Specialized Surgery for “Gummy” Smiles

Dr. Anderson’s approach to aesthetic crown lengthening ensures this specialized procedure is incredibly precise and conservative. Working alongside your general dentist, she can predictably achieve the desire final soft tissue result. The final contour and position of your soft tissues will be noticeably altered to restore natural smile symmetry. For such a detailed procedure, Dr. Anderson has the expertise and technology to make her the go-to choice for your care. Ask us to show before and after photos of countless patients with healthy, aesthetic smiles!


Schedule Your Consultation

Whether you’ve been referred by your dentist or are seeking a second opinion, we invite you to schedule a consultation at Anderson Periodontal Wellness with our dentist, Dr. Anderson. We can help you achieve an attractive, balanced smile with esthetic crown lengthening in our office in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Schedule your appointment online or call (248) 480-4910 today.

The Top 3 Questions Patients Ask About Gum Recession

Dental Patient Undergoing Gum Recession Treatment

If you are invested in keeping your smile healthy, it’s important to understand the possibility of gum recession. Though a common dental problem, gum recession can have dangerous consequences affecting the health and stability of your teeth. More than making teeth appear “long”, uneven, and yellow, gum recession is also a leading symptom of gum disease.

How does gum recession develop? And what can be done about it? Dr. Lauren Anderson, a board-certified periodontist in Bloomfield Hills, MI, discusses the main questions her patients ask about receding gums and the minimally invasive treatment options she offers at Anderson Periodontal Wellness.


  1. What is gum recession?

If you currently have receding gums, you may have already noticed the esthetic and functional effects. Gum recession is when the gums around your teeth wear away, exposing the roots. This often causes sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures as well as esthetic issues (long teeth that appear yellow at the roots, an uneven gum line, or a small notch of gum tissue at the base of a tooth). Receding gums also create pockets between the gums and teeth where bacteria can easily accumulate.

  1. What causes receding gums?

Gum recession can result from aggressive tooth brushing, periodontal disease, smoking or tobacco use, misaligned teeth, oral trauma, aging, and genetics. It’s critical to know the etiology (cause) of gum recession to ensure accurate and lasting treatment. As a periodontist, Dr. Anderson is considered a “gum expert”, having achieved years of additional training and experience in soft tissue treatments. One of her specialties is diagnosing and treating gum recession with minimally invasive techniques.

  1. Why do I need to treat gum recession?

Receding gums cause more than cosmetic concerns. They can make it difficult to eat the foods you love due to heightened sensitivity. The gaps between your teeth can develop bacterial infection (gum disease). More severe cases of gum recession can result in loose teeth and even tooth loss. Thin, receding gums cannot grow back and may continue to progress without treatment. When you first notice gum recession, schedule a consultation with Dr. Anderson!


Minimally Invasive Soft Tissue Grafting

Dr. Anderson first determines the cause of your gum recession, then creates a personalized treatment plan based on your oral condition. This may involve periodontal therapy or soft tissue grafting (sometimes both). Using specialized digital technology, she’ll plan your case. This involves taking a CBCT scan to evaluate the bony contours beneath your gums and digital scanning to plan the surgery. This technology also allows her to evaluate treatment results and track healing over time.

Detailed planning and preparation also ensure a direct and purposeful surgical approach and an efficient, minimally invasive procedure. During your surgery while you’re under IV sedation, Dr. Anderson will remove a portion of tissue from the roof of your mouth (or grafts from a tissue bank) and use it to cover teeth and exposed roots. Once healed, your tissues will be healthier, stronger, and thicker and more resistant to gum recession in the future.


Interested in Learning More?

Dr. Anderson welcomes patients with gum recession in our office in Bloomfield Hills, MI to learn more about her minimally invasive soft tissue grafting techniques and the benefits of surgery. As an expert, she provides precise and predictable treatment that promotes the long-term function and esthetics of your smile. If you have been referred or want a second opinion, schedule your consultation with Anderson Periodontal Wellness online or call (248) 480-4910 today.

Can “Gum Grafting” Help Out With Sensitive Roots?

Pre/Post Gum Graft

Meet M.P. who sought out treatment with our periodontist Dr. Lauren Anderson to help address his sensitive roots as seen in the before photo. The “yellow” or cementum root showing can be sensitive to temperature change (both hot and cold), tactile (brushing or a professional cleaning), or to sugar (glucose).  Although not all roots that are exposed are sensitive, the patients who seek gum regeneration can eliminate or greatly reduce sensitivity with minimally invasive techniques.  Gingival grafting aims to regenerate lost gum tissue, restore gum thickness and return to a more anatomical or “normal” tissue contour. As a result, roots are covered and protected from the above mentioned traumatic stimuli.


Specific to this case, M.P. had a minimally invasive tunneling procedure with an allograft product. This means the grafting material was not harvested from the palate but was rather custom ordered for his case and adapted to his unique anatomy. After two sterile water baths, the sterile collagen (type 1 and 3) is inserted under the gum and pulled down to cover his roots. Results seen above are at 3 months post grafting. MP, his general dentist and Dr. Anderson couldn’t be happier with his results.  MP no longer has cold sensitivity and is pleased with his healthier and more youthful appearance!


To learn if you are a candidate for allograft tunneling procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lauren Anderson at Anderson Periodontal Wellness (248) 480-4910 to learn more. Our board certified periodontist Dr. Anderson performs gum and bone grafting, dental implants, periodontal therapy, laser treatment and many other periodontal specialty procedures to patients in the greater Detroit area and looks forward to meeting with you!

What Is the “Tunneling” Technique for Gum Recession?

Gum Recession Graphic

If you have sensitive teeth and have noticed your teeth appear longer, chances are you have gum recession. While your gum tissue will never grow back on its own, Dr. Anderson can “reverse” gum recession with a unique surgical “tunneling” technique. Dr. Lauren Anderson, our board-certified periodontist, uses this minimally invasive technique as an alternative to traditional gingival grafting.  In addition to earning her masters in soft tissue grafting techniques at the University of Michigan, Dr. Anderson remains ahead of the curve.  In 2019, she became certified as a S.M.A.R.T. (minimally invasive tissue grafting) provider at the University of Pennsylvania where she trained under its founder Dr. Ernesto Lee. This technique not only addresses cases of bone deformity, but treats recession as it reinforces the structures that determine the position of the soft tissue.


Why Gum Recession Occurs

Gums can recede for a variety of reasons and due to its slow progression, many people don’t realize they even have this condition. Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause of receding gums, which is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Other factors that contribute to gum recession include:

  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Tooth grinding and clenching
  • Poor dental health
  • “Frenum” or muscle pulls
  • Genetics

How the Tunneling Technique Treats Receding Gums

The tunneling technique is a multi-step process. First, Dr. Anderson cleans the surface of the teeth, including the exposed tooth roots and applies an etch to the roots (EDTA) to allow soft tissue ingress. Next, using a laparoscopic type technique, Dr. Anderson gently tunnels under the gum tissue with a specialized dental tool. The gum tissue between the teeth remains intact, while the tissue below will have a space for the new graft. Then, Dr. Anderson inserts the tissue graft under the gum tissue to cover the exposed roots, making sure to optimize the aesthetic look of the tissue, as well. Finally, she will suture the graft in place so the treated site can heal. Treating your gum recession with this minimally invasive technique can improve your gum health, root sensitivity and smile appearance – most of all it reduces your risk profile anatomically.


Schedule your appointment

Have receding gums and are ready for treatment? Contact Dr. Lauren Anderson of Anderson Periodontal Wellness today to schedule your consultation for gum recession in our office in Bloomfield Hills, MI.


Got You Covered: Periodontal Techniques for Gum Recession

When the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, exposing tooth roots and making teeth look longer, turn to a dentist who specializes in treating recession- a periodontist. Find out how a periodontist in Bloomfield Hills, MI can treat your gum recession and restore your smile.

What Makes Gum Surgery Worth It?

Appearances aren’t everything, but they can go a long way in elevating your quality of life knowing the foundation structures of your teeth are stable. Most gum recession cases are treated for health reasons and as an added benefit, esthetics improve.

Check out some of the top benefits of having your gum recession treated:

  • Corrects high risk problematic dental anatomy
  • Prevents further recession
  • Can lower teeth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Protects the roots of teeth, which helps protect teeth from decay
  • Improves smiles and can boost confidence
  • Promotes a healthier mouth in general

A Look at Gum Grafting Procedures

Take a look at some of the advanced solutions you’ll find at Anderson Periodontal Wellness:

Coronally advanced flap technique – using small vertical incisions to the gums, the periodontist will carefully advance the gum to cover exposed tooth roots.

Tunneling – this minimally invasive technique entails creating a thin tunnel in the gums, near the site of the gum recession. Graft material is inserted into the tunnel, which is drawn out to cover the exposed tooth roots.

Free gingival graft – this technique involving using donor tissue from another area of the mouth to graft onto the area where your gums are receding.

Keep in Mind

There are many techniques an experienced periodontist can perform to stop gum recession and restore the esthetics of your smile. To get the most of your investment, proper long-term oral hygiene practices are critical. Brushing and flossing techniques will be reviewed to help best maintain your new smile!

Gum Recession in Bloomfield Hills, Mi

Reserve a time to talk with a Dr. Lauren Anderson DDS, MS to learn more about your options for correcting your gum recession in Bloomfield Hills, MI by contacting Anderson Periodontal Wellness by phone at (248) 480-4910.

Laser Dentistry: Turning Back the Tide of Receding Gums

laser dentistry used to fight gum disease at bloomfield hills dentist office

Once the stuff of science fiction, lasers continue to find more applications in the medical sector. In the field of dentistry specifically, lasers have been making gum disease treatment more affordable and effective for all.

One day soon, you might have a routine dental procedure done with the help of a strong, yet extremely precise beam of laser light, instead of a drill or a probe. Here’s how that laser light would be used if you were battling gum disease.

Continue reading “Laser Dentistry: Turning Back the Tide of Receding Gums”