Gum Recession and Tissue Grafting

What is Gum Recession?

Gum recession occurs when the tooth’s surrounding gum tissue wears away or begins to pull back. Receding gums can cause small pockets to be created between your teeth and the gums. This space invites bacteria to build up; this can damage both your gums and your teeth.

Why Do Gums Recede?

  • Gum Disease – The most common cause of gum recession is gum disease.
  • Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease, which can lead to your gums receding.
  • Aggressive Tooth Brushing – You may not know this, but brushing too hard can cause your gums to recede. It is usually best to brush your teeth gently for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene – When you don’t clean your teeth properly, plaque and tartar can build on your teeth and underneath your gums, leading to gum recession.
  • Hormones – In some cases, changes in a woman’s hormone levels can make the gums more likely to recede. This is most common during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Proper dental hygiene during these times is vital to continued mouth health.

What is Tissue Grafting and How Does It Work?

Tissue grafting (gum grafting) is the most common treatment for recession. There are multiple grafting techniques that we employ and which one we will recommend is dependent on each individual’s situation.

Connective tissue grafting is utilized to cover root surfaces and to increase the band of gingiva (gum tissue) around a tooth or teeth. This will protect the underlying bone support for the involved teeth and help prevent root decay of these same teeth.
Free Gingival grafts are used to increase the width of the gum tissue, which protects the underlying bone and essentially prevents future recession.
Pedicle graft In some cases we are able to perform a pedicle graft when there is adequate gum tissue with recession. This is determined at the time of your examination.

Speak with our highly skilled dentists to learn more about tissue grafting procedures.

Benefits of Tissue Grafting

Gum grafting can help prevent further bone loss and future tooth loss. It is also helpful in decreasing root sensitivity, often eliminating it, to hot and cold with the root coverage. Enhanced esthetics for your smile while helping maintain a healthy periodontium is also a huge benefit.