Gingival recession occurs in response to a number of factors. The foremost reason is an infection that weakens the attachment of the gum tissue to the tooth and the bone. Other reasons why the gums will strip off of teeth are vigorous tooth brushing, excessive trauma when chewing and habits like smoking or body piercings. Even routine dentistry or orthodontic care can initiate gum recession in a prone area. When the gums recede, they can leave the tooth more susceptible to root decay (a very serious problem) or the advancement of infecting bacteria deeper along the root’s surface. Some recession, if it appears to be stable, only needs to be monitored. However, when recession is suspected to be progressive, actively stripping off of the root, immediate action needs to be taken to prevent tooth loss. Caught early, gum recession is a very repairable problem. Soft tissue grafting (gum grafting) is a simple, in-office procedure that can predictably arrest or reverse the receding gum tissue.
Many patients seek treatment for gingival recession due to hypersensitivity to hot and cold foods or fluids. Others are alarmed when they see the gums actively stripping off of the roots. Often recession on the front teeth is very noticeable, altering the aesthetic appearance of a patient’s smile. In the later stages, teeth develop painful, bacteria infected abscesses with swelling that can extend on to the face. In the later stages, tooth loss may be our only option. That is why early intervention is so important.
before and after gum grafting