Soft Tissue Graft
When recession of the gum tissue, or gingiva, occurs, the body loses a natural defense against bacteria and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gum tissue 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, 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 a patient to worsening recession and expose the root surface of a tooth, which is softer than enamel, leading to cavities at the root surface.
A soft tissue graft is designed to solve these problems. Usually during this procedure, a thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. Donated tissue may also be used, eliminating the need to remove tissue from the roof of the mouth. The soft tissue graft is placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
The soft tissue graft procedure is highly predictable, and results in a stable, healthy band of gum tissue around the tooth.