There are many reasons for receeding gums which has a profound effect on the gums teeth and bone. Not only is gum recession cosmetically disfiguring (an abnormal amount of tooth structure is exposed leading to long teeth and dark spaces) but it can also lead to tooth decay and sensitivity, bone loss, tooth mobility and loss of your teeth. There are many causes including gingivitis and periodontal disease, smoking, certain drugs (both prescribed and recreational), grinding or clenching of the teeth (bruxism), poor tooth alignment, and incorrect tooth brushing. When the gums recede, an abnormal amount of tooth structure is exposed. Correction of these causes is essential to avoid serious damage to the oral structures. Thankfully, treatment is available to repair the damage and restore the natural aesthetics of the mouth.
Gum grafting is the corrective procedure that restores the gum to its natural, healthy state. Using soft gum tissue from the roof or other areas of the mouth, the receded gums are grafted. The goal of the graft is to cover exposed tooth and root surfaces with oral tissue and provide a barrier to prevent future recession of the tissue. This grafting encourages new tissue growth that will enable the gums to return to its original position around the teeth. The procedure is routine and downtime and discomfort is minimal. A new procedure is now available at our office which uses state of the art biological materials so that the treatment can be performed without the need to surgically "harvest" donor tissue from the patient. This is a significant advancement in that it requires only one surgical site instead of two so that the procedure can be easier and any post-operative discomfort is lessened.