Soft Tissue (Gum) Enhancement

Bone holds up gum. Gum recession will not occur if normal bone levels are found around the teeth. Bone loss can occur from periodontal disease or as a result of the root of the tooth being out of the bony housing. There are two types of gum. One is strong and bound down (called attached gingiva), one is not (alveolar mucosa). Areas of bone loss without strong gum have a good chance of receding. In these situations the problem can be made worse by aggressive brushing, especially with new generation “whitening” toothpaste. Brushing with a soft toothbrush with a nonabrasive toothpaste will reduce the probability of recession.

Areas of recession can be successfully repaired. One of the goals is to prevent further recession, a secondary goal (although frequently an important one) is covering the exposed root surface. There are several reasons to treat these areas.

  1. Continue gum recession
  2. Esthetic concerns
  3. Dental restorative margins that with touch the gum margin
  4. Proposed orthodontic therapy
  5. Continued abrasion of the exposed root surface
  6. Thermal sensitivity (especially to cold) from root exposure

Gum recession is treated using a type of re-connective surgery. There are several approaches to augmentation, all of which involve gently lifting the existing gum tissue. The goal is to establish a band of healthy, strong bound-down tissue in the area. Several types of materials can be used for augmentation. The material that has the longest longevity and the best long-term results is the patient’s own gum. The tissue is harvested from an area that has the type of strong gum needed, then placed underneath the tissue in the graft site. In selected cases, a specific type of human donor tissue can be used as a substitute. These two materials have the best long-term results. 

before gum grafting patient photo

after gum grafting patient photo

Before and after gum grafting

Contact us at Dallas Office Phone Number 214-691-2404 for more information.