When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.
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. As recession worsens and more soft tissue is lost around the tooth, the bone underneath the soft tissue is lost as well. Exposed root surfaces are softer than enamel, and this can lead to root decay and root gouging.
Dr. Ridgway can regrow the gum tissue that has been destroyed around your teeth. This can be accomplished using your own palatal tissue, or donated human/cadaveric tissue. The goal of this procedure is to cover the exposed root surfaces, and also to thicken the band of attached connective tissue tissue to prevent further recession. This thicker tissue is better able to withstand the daily actions of brushing, flossing & eating. Preservation of tissue health around the tooth also preserves bone health.
Before and After- Gum Grafting
Gum Grafting Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the gum grafting process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about gum grafting.
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas to 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.
The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.