Gum grafting treatment for receding gum
What is gum recession?
One of the most common concerns our patients ask us about is “receding gums.” which is technically known as “gingival recession.” Receding gums is the process by which the gum tissue surrounding a tooth recede – or “grow down” over time. While the gum recede, the tooth may start to appear to look longer or darker. The tooth looks longer to the eye because there is less gingival tissue covering it. Similarly, the tooth hasn’t changed color at all, but with the recession, you are now seeing the naturally darker part of the root’s surface.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gym recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
Why do I have gum recession?
There are multiple causes of gingival recession including:
Loss of bone around the tooth from periodontal disease or previous orthodontic treatment.
Overzealous tooth brushing or brushing with a hard toothbrush.
A frenum that impinges and pulls on the gum tissue.
Do I need treatment for my gum recession?
It's best to schedule a consultation with your periodontist for an evaluation of your condition. Gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity, increased chance of decay and root gouging, and esthetic problems.
More importantly, when you notice that you have gum recession, it often means there are underlying problems which cause your gum to recede. For example, you may have thin gingival tissue that needs a gum augmentation to prevent future gum recession. It's imperative to address those issues early to prevent the progression of recession, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Problems that can occur from receding gums include:
Sensitivity to cold, hot, air of the exposed root surface
Increased chance of decay on the root surface
Root gouging due to brushing on root surface (cementum) which is much softer then enamel
Esthetic problems as the the tooth may appear to look longer
Treatment for gum recession
A gingival graft (Gum graft) is designed to solve problems related to gum recession. A thin piece of tissue taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas or from tissue bank can provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
Gingival graft procedure is a highly predictable procedure and it provides a stable healthy thick band of attached tissue around the tooth to prevent further recession, to decrease sensitivity, and to enhance your beautiful smile!
Contact our periodontists Dr. Ling and Dr. Tai for any questions you may have!
All the clinical case pictures shown on our website were patients treated by Dr. Ling or Dr. Tai. All rights reserved.
Individual treatment options and results may vary.