Gum recession has become a very frequent condition which affects people from different populations and ages, however the possibilities of developing gum recession are greater in people over fifty. Periodontal plastic surgery (gum grafting) is becoming more sought after as an effective treatment for tooth sensitivity, prevention of root cavities, and cosmetic improvement.
- Sensitive teeth
- Longer than normal looking teeth (which gives an older appearance)
- Color changing in the area near to the gum
- Black triangles in the area between teeth
- The roots of the tooth are visible
- Cavities in the gum line
Gingival recession may be caused by the following circumstances:
- Inadequate brushing
- Abnormal tooth position
- Bruxism (Grinding of the teeth)
- Eating disorders
- Very thin or fragile gingival tissue
- Orthodontic treatments
- Piercings in the lip or tongue
A gum graft, also known as periodontal plastic surgery, involves a series of different surgical periodontal procedures whose combined aim is to cover a portion of an exposed area of the root surface with oral or artificial tissue. Usually a periodontal plastic surgery is performed by a Periodontist (specialist in the field of gingival tissue) or by a general dentist who has been trained in periodontal plastic surgery.
There are different possible periodontal plastic surgery procedures available to successfully cover the exposed root. Some of these techniques are coronally and apically positioned flaps, free gingival graft, subepithelial connective tissue graft, lateral pedicle graft, pedicle graft, or an acellular dermal matrix (such as Alloderm). Depending on each specific case the specialist will determine which type of procedure is the ideal for each individual.
Fortunately, gum recession is highly treatable. Surgery is only one solution in treating the type of gum recession that is caused by gum disease or orthodontic treatment. Gingival grafting is a treatment that involves grafts from neighboring gums or the roof of the mouth onto the affected areas. This surgical procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The treated gums will usually heal within a month. Additional shaping is sometimes necessary in order to make sure the gum looks as natural as possible.
The best prevention a patient can undertake for gum recession is to visit the dentist regularly. Any problems they may suffer can then be identified early and will be easily treated. The successful rate of the periodontal plastic surgery is around 85 percent, however a number of patients may experience some recession of the gums even after the procedure.
Article written by: Dr. Telma Rubinstein