Gum Grafting Procedures
When recession of the gingiva (gum) occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is often required.
(Treatment performed by Dr. Gould in 2004)
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, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost. In addition, as the gum recedes from the tooth, the underlying bone has also been lost. This becomes especially important with regard to the long term survival of the tooth, and in some cases can lead to tooth loss.
Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold liquids as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. The exposed root which is softer than enamel can lead to root decay and root abrasion/gouging.
(Treatment performed by Dr. Gould in 2006)
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is either taken from just inside of the upper teeth or a donor tissue called Alloderm is used (see next paragraph and example below). The gingival graft is placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root and provide lasting support. The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.
In some cases a donor tissue called Alloderm can be effectively used to cover the gum recession. Alloderm is an acellular dermal matrix derived from donated skin tissue that is completely safe and effective. In many cases, it can be effectively substituted for your own tissue when performing a gingival graft. Please ask Dr. Gould if Alloderm is the right choice to treat your recession.
(Treatment performed on upper front teeth using Alloderm by Dr. Gould in 2005)