Gum recession, also referred to as gingival recession, is a condition whereby your gums retract from your teeth's surface. When it is mild, it is hardly physically noticeable, but you will experience heightened tooth sensitivity when taking hot or cold foods. However, in some individuals, it is drastic and poses a risk to their overall oral health.
What causes gum recession?
There are a myriad of reasons why one would develop gum recession. One of the most common causes is vigorous brushing of teeth especially when using a hard bristle toothbrush. It can also be caused by genetics, teeth grinding and extreme oral jewelry such as lip rings. If you notice you are developing gum recession, it is best to go to a dental clinic and try to arrest the problem before it develops further. Leaving this condition untreated can lead to the eventual loss of teeth.
What are the surgical treatment options for gum recession?
If your gums have receded excessively, then your periodontist would have to consider surgical treatment to treat the condition. There are two main ways that this can be done.
With gum grafting, the periodontist will extract tissue, typically from your mouth's palate, to replace the gum that has left your teeth and their roots over-exposed. Your periodontist could also opt to get this graft tissue from a medical tissue bank if you would rather not have it extracted from your own palate. To perform the procedure, the periodontist will start off by injecting the affected area with a local anaesthetic. This is followed by a thorough cleaning of the affected areas before the tissue is grafted onto your remaining gums. Gum grafting does not take too long to heal, but you will be advised to steer clear from any foods that may be hard to chew during the healing period. This is to prevent any undue damage to your tissue graft.
Gum regeneration is a surgical procedure opted for when the gum recession has caused visible damage to your jawbone. With this treatment, the periodontist would first inject local anesthetic before proceeding to open up whatever parts of the gum are remaining and flap them back over your jawbone. The affected area is deep cleaned, and the periodontist will place a protein matrix on the roots of the affected teeth. This protein matrix works to stimulate the growth of new tissue as well as bone mass in your jaw. Once the protein matrix is in place, the flap of gum is stitched back into place to provide support for the protein matrix. This surgical procedure tends to take longer to heal as involves much more than gum grafting.