Recession Treatment

Gum recession is loss of gum tissue around the tooth, usually in the front, and can cause a multitude of symptoms. One of the most noticeable consequences is the teeth appear to be “long” and unsightly due to the root being exposed.

Besides unattractive appearance of the teeth, other consequences of root exposure include:

Susceptibility to decay: Exposed roots are more susceptible to decay than enamel is. Decay that occurs in the roots of the teeth is particularly problematic because it can quickly spread to the nerve of the teeth if left untreated.

Tooth sensitivity: The roots of your teeth are far more sensitive than the enamel so you may notice increased discomfort or sensitivity accompanying gum recession.

Loss of protection against further recession: When your recession becomes too deep, you lose the thick, fortified gum tissue called attached gingiva. Attached gingiva is tightly bound down gum tissue which is important for gum stability and health. If you lose the remaining attached gingiva, the recession can rapidly worsen.

To prevent these outcomes, patients should pursue a gum graft to treat gum recession. Doing so will protect your oral health and improve your appearance.

At our practice, we offer a variety of grafting procedures to treat various types of gum recession and gingival defects. We do not believe that “one-size fits all” in terms of treatment because a single, deep recession site on a lower incisor tooth has different challenges from adjacent upper teeth with recession. Having a different array of options is important in making sure each case is treated successfully.

Gum Recession Before | Austin Implants & Periodontics | Dr. Ha
BEFORE
Gum Recession After | Austin Implants & Periodontics | Dr. Ha
AFTER
Palatal Grafts

This is still the gold standard for covering exposed roots, but it does require tissue to be borrowed from the roof of the mouth. Although our periodontists prefer to avoid the palate if possible, there are some clinical situations which require this type of gingival grafting. To help aid in post-operative comfort, we provide clear, firm, thin acrylic stents that cover the palate area during initial healing. The stent provides protection, acts as a band-aid, and assist in wound healing.

Tunneling

This is a minimally-invasive technique that creates a space in between the exposed roots and the gums without the use of any scalpels. A donor graft is used to aid in the patient’s gum tissues and cells to adhere strongly to the root surface. Long term studies show tunneling with a donor tissue graft is equally effective as using palatal tissue in covering recessed roots and to thicken and fortify the gum tissue. The natural donor graft comes from a stringent screening and sterilization process. No cells remain, and so your body’s cells do reject the tissue but rather incorporates it into the gum tissue.

Root Coverage Graft
Pinhole Surgical Technique

The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is a newer, minimally-invasive technique that avoids the use of scalpels and sutures (stitches) by utilizing tiny access points in the gums to loosen the gum tissue. Once the gums are pulled over the recessed roots, collagen is placed into the site to thicken the gum tissue. The benefit of the PST is not having to use sutures that may become bothersome later in the healing, and there is much less discomfort, if any at all, than using palatal grafts.