Oral and Periodontal Surgery for Receding Gums

 Gum recession is one of the most common dental issues cited by patients 40 and older, though the condition may present itself as early as the teen years. Fortunately, receding gums are relatively easy to prevent and treat with a variety of oral and periodontal surgeries and related procedures.

What is Gum Recession?

Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, is a dental condition in which the roots of the teeth are increasingly exposed due to one or more factors. These factors include retraction of the gums from the base of the tooth and a partial or complete loss of the gum tissue itself.

The exposed root area of a tooth is far more susceptible to damage and decay than is the harder enamel area above the natural gum line. Complications of extensive gum recession include increased risk of bacterial infection, decay and loss of teeth, an appearance of abnormally long teeth and heightened sensitivity to heat and cold.

Prevention and Treatment of Gum Recession

Healthy brushing and flossing habits, along with routine visits to a qualified dental professional, are crucial in the prevention of gum recession. Preventative measures are particularly emphasized in cases in which a patient is at higher risk for periodontal disease. If the cause of receding gums is found to be aggressive brushing, the patient is often advised to alter the brushing technique used and to begin using a toothbrush with softer bristles.

• Gingival Graft Procedures

When attached gum tissue is missing, a procedure called a gingival graft is often used to replace it. First, a small pocket is produced in the gum tissue directly adjacent to the tooth or teeth to be treated. The next step involves the harvesting of soft tissue from the roof of the mouth. This donor gum tissue is placed into the small pocket and, over time, reattaches itself to the exposed base of the tooth. With appropriate aftercare and routine cleaning, the gum tissue that generates in this area should feel and look entirely natural for an indefinite period of time.

• Alloderm Graft Procedures

If a patient’s case of gum recession is particularly severe and multiple graft procedures are required, a different type of tissue graft may be utilized. This type of procedure, called an Alloderm graft, does not implement donor tissue from the patient’s mouth. Instead, a donated amount of healthy, sterile tissue may be obtained from a tissue bank. This procedure is just as effective and successful as traditional gingival graft procedures that utilize tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth. Alloderm graft procedures are often preferred in cases in which the patient’s mouth does not offer an adequate supply of potential donor tissue.

Face and Jaw Surgery Center serves all of North Dakota and North West Minnesota including Moorhead, MN and East Grand Forks, MN

Bismarck, ND office

Fargo, ND office

Grand ForksND office

Minot, ND office.