Gum Recession Treatment
Gingival recession is the migration of the gingival margin apical to the crown-root junction. It is associated with inflammatory periodontal disease and mechanical trauma. It can also be associated with the presence of a host of predisposing factors that include tooth malposition and root prominence, frenulum attachment, orthodontic tooth movement, underlying alveola, gingival predisposition, and iatrogenic restorative and periodontal treatment-related factors (surgical recession).
Clinicians are faced with correcting recession defects for reasons of adverse esthetics, reduction of root sensitivity, prevention of further recession, and management of shallow root caries or abrasion grooves to address both functional and biologic needs.
Despite a tendency for an increase in gingival dimensions with age, a large proportion of the adult population with good oral hygiene exhibits one or more sites with gingival recession.
Mary was referred to our Portland Perio Implant Center to address long-standing and progressing gum recession. Over the years she had experienced gradual receding of the gum margin, resulting in root exposure with ensuing tooth sensitivity as well as longer-appearing teeth. To combat the increased tooth sensitivity she had been receiving treatment by patching the exposed root surfaces with tooth colored fillings. This option, however, did not address or alleviate the ongoing deterioration of the gum recession over the years.
Although she had been aware of gum grafting as an option to correct her receding gums, she was always only presented with grafting techniques that used her own tissue from the roof of her mouth. This technique has its drawbacks which include additional morbidly and discomfort. Hesitant to proceed, the gum problems were therefore left untreated.
Initial assessment of her gums revealed that she had generalized gum recession in all areas of her mouth involving multiple teeth in each quadrant. We discussed the alternative grafting technique using non-self-donor tissue that eliminates the need to harvest her own from the palate.
Post surgical with sutures
One of these such products is AlloDerm. It is a regenerative tissue matrix, introduced in 1994 for treating burn patients. AlloDerm has proved its versatility and safety in many diverse procedures in general, orthopedic, urogenital and dental surgeries, with a consistent record of excellent results. This material and technique has been available for over 20 years. Here at Portland Perio Implant Center it is the method most commonly used to treat gingival recession. One of the main advantages of this method is that there is no limitation in the number of teeth with recession that can be treated in one visit. We are not limited by the amount of tissue available to harvest from the palate.
Mary was relieved to hear that in one visit and without the need for palatial tissue harvest, all her receding gums could be corrected. With the use of conscious sedation, her treatment was completed in one and a half hours. Follow up checks of her healing progress were made at regular intervals to ensure optimal healing. Slight swelling and mild discomfort are expected after soft tissue grafting and natural anti-inflammatory supplements are provided for a more comfortable recovery. Her healing was uneventful and we achieved excellent root coverage as well as addressed the tooth sensitivity. She is no longer “long in the tooth” and is enjoying her new smile.