minimally invasive gum grafting
When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. If gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using minimally invasive grafting techniques is an option.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, a lack of attached tissue develops resulting in reduce protection to inflammation and mechanical forces from chewing. This can result in progressive recession and eventual tooth loss.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
A subepithelial connective tissue graft or soft tissue allograft is designed to solve these problems. In most cases, the office utilizes a tunnel approach, eliminating any incisions on the surface of the gums, resulting in enhanced esthetic outcomes and improved post-treatment comfort. When utilizing a subepithelial connective graft, a thin piece of tissue is gently taken from the roof of the mouth, utilizing a single incision, and placed under the gum and over the exposed root. The adjacent gum is then secured over the graft. This provides coverage of the exposed root and a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. A soft tissue allograft, also referred to as acellular dermal matrix, may also be indicated and provides a substitute for the connective tissue. Lastly, biologic proteins may also be used in conjunction with the graft procedure for enhanced healing, when indicated. These procedures are highly predictable and result in partial to complete coverage of the exposed root and a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.