Gum recession happens when the gum line moves toward the root of tooth, leaving a larger portion of tooth enamel exposed. It is one of the most noticeable and damaging results of gum disease. Unfortunately, many patients do not seek treatment because they are unaware of their gum recession. Gum recessions often happens gradually and is not noticeable until the symptoms become severe. These symptoms include sensitivity to extreme temperatures, exposure of the roots, and teeth that appear “long”. Without gum tissue surrounding the tooth and its root, the risk of cavity and decay is severely increased. This makes it important to fix receding gums very quickly.
Gum grafting is the procedure in which receding gums are repaired by taking tissue from another area and attaching it to the gum line. In addition to health benefits, gum grafting can help patients who are unhappy with the aesthetic appearance of their teeth. It can help to reduce the amount of tooth shown and increase the gum line to a level considered more attractive by you.
There are currently three types of gum grafting available:
Connective Tissue Grafts: This is considered the most common form of gum grafting surgery. It involves cutting a flap of skin from the roof of the mouth and removing a small amount of tissue from beneath the flap. The borrowed tissue is then stitched to the gum line and given time to attach itself.
Free Gingival Grafts: This type of gum grafting is similar to connective tissue grafts. Instead of borrowing from beneath a flap of skin, tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth.
Pedicle Grafts: This type of gum grafting borrows tissue directly from the gum line. A flap of skin is cut from the gum tissue and pulled over the tooth, then stitched in place. This gum grafting method is usually reserved for those with plenty of gum tissue.