Clarke V. Filippi, DDS – Modesto & Central Valley CAWhen 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 may be necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.
In addition, gum recession can cause root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. Severe gum recession can predispose a tooth to continual recession and exposure the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to cavities on the root.
Before and After 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.
Gum grafts are highly predictable and result in a stable healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth or dental implant.