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 surgery 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 to the gum and tooth. Gum recession, when significant, can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
BEFORE: Gum levels create the shape of the teeth.
AFTER: The shape of teeth appear more natural after crown lengthening.
The Gum Grafting Procedure
Gum grafting is a procedure that Dr. Yu and Dr. Litizzette use in order to reverse the tissue and bone loss around the necks of your teeth. Importantly, this will generate tissue quality which is superior to your pre-existing tissues. Consequently, your gum tissues will be more able to resist future recession and trauma; as well as gum disease.
Not all teeth with recession will need grafting. Depending on your history and the architecture of your area of recession, Dr. Yu and Dr. Litizzette will evaluate the need for grafting. During your visit, they can determine your risk of future gum and bone loss.
Dr. Yu and Dr. Litizzette use an innovative technique to reverse your tissue loss. They may take tissue from the roof of the mouth, because of the genetic superiority of this tissue, or use donor tissue or collagen. With this quality tissue around the neck of your teeth, recession and bone loss will be most assuredly be prevented. Occasionally and usually upon patient request, we may use donor graft tissue; but with Dr. Yu's technique in harvesting this tissue from the roof of the mouth, discomfort is much reduced compared to other techniques.
For more information and images, please see our Case Gallery for Gum Grafting.