Soft Tissue Grafting Procedures

Periodontal procedures are available from our office to provide a more stable long-term prognosis for teeth. The main protection for the bone structure is the gum tissue. Many patients notice areas of gum recession throughout their mouth. Symptoms may include sensitivity to temperature, sweets, and brushing.

Periodontal plastic surgery can help lay the groundwork for restorative and cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the health and aesthetics of your smile. This procedure was developed to stop further dental problems. Gum recession is not a result of ageing, it usually has an underlying cause.

What factors can contribute to gum recession?

Aggressive Oral Hygiene-Aggressive brushing can cause wear to the tissue and tooth structure. Using a soft toothbrush and proper oral hygiene techniques will stop the damaging effects of aggressive habits.

Tobacco-use can significantly increase the risk of developing and progressing periodontal disease and gum recession. Also, tobacco can negatively affect treatment outcomes.

Genetics-family history of periodontal disease and gum recession indicates a greater likelihood of developing this condition.

Grinding/Clenching-can cause stress to the teeth and gum tissues. These habits can cause aggressive wear of the teeth and/or gum recession.

Orthodontic Therapy-with movement of teeth, changes can occur in the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Careful movement of the teeth and diligent oral hygiene are important during and after orthodontic therapy.

Periodontal Disease-can cause destruction to the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. When bone loss occurs, the gum tissue will normally follow, causing gum recession.

Thin Gingival Tissue-can cause the tissue to be more likely to recede. Procedures are available to increase the thickness of the attached tissue around the teeth.

Can gum recession cause further issues with my teeth?

Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum tissue recession. Studies have shown that patients with gum tissue recession have more sensitive teeth, greater chance for decay, and a less aesthetic smile.

Identification of the causative reason for the gum recession is important. Once the identifying factors are under control, periodontal plastic surgery can repair the defect or keep the recession from further advancement. This will also help keep the bone from further destruction.

What are the signs and symptoms of gingival recession?

  • Longer appearance of the teeth
  • Sensitive Teeth (cold or hot)
  • Decay on the root structure
  • Sensitivity to brushing
  • Swelling of the tissue

How is gum recession treated?

Once your periodontal condition has been evaluated, Dr. Cravatta will work with you to determine the best treatment options. Treatment and results can vary depending on how far the gum recession has progressed. The long-term prognosis varies depending on the amount of bone loss and tissue destruction.

Soft tissue grafting is a minor surgical procedure. A tissue graft is utilized to augment the area with gum recession or thin gum tissue. The source of the tissue can be the palate or donor tissue. During the consultation appointment, Dr. Cravatta will discuss the best option for your mouth.

The main purpose is to add stronger tissue around the area of concern. Root coverage is difficult to predict and cannot be guaranteed. The addition of stronger tissue will help prevent further gum and bone damage.

How can gum recession be prevented?

Good oral hygiene and professional care are the keys to maintaining periodontal health and gingival recession. The best way to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay is to remove the bacterial plaque by thorough oral hygiene practices.

Regular dental visits that include periodontal examinations, cleanings, radiographs, and oral hygiene instruction are important. These appointments will help maintain periodontal health.

Congratulations on taking the first step to achieving periodontal health.

The following information was provided by the American Academy of Periodontology.

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