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 (more resilient gum) often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa (less resilient gum), the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as a compromise of your smile. Gum recession can predispose to worsening recession, exposing more root surface. The dentin surface of the root is softer and more susceptible to root decay and abrasion than enamel.
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 educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about gum grafting.
A soft tissue graft is designed to solve these problems. The donor graft tissue can be obtained from other areas of the oral cavity (autografts), other humans (allografts) or other animal species (xenografts). Whatever the source, the graft tissue is secured over the exposed root surface to provide a stable and more resilient band of attached gum around the tooth. Treatment objectives include root coverage and establishment of a stable, healthy resilient band of attached tissue around the tooth.