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By definition, gum recession is the movement of tissue towards the root of a tooth. This recession can be localized on one particular tooth, symmetrical, or generalized in the entire mouth. Common symptoms can vary from tooth hypersensitivity, to inflammation of the tissue, to root decay, to an esthetic concern. Today, root recessions are easily repaired with simple tissue graft surgery.

Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance to the gum and tooth. Also, when significant gum is lost, the recession can progress rapidly, exposing more of the root surface. This can lead to root caries (cavities on the roots of teeth) and root gouging.

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 an option.

When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying your oral hygiene practices is necessary. However, when recession is advanced or reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.

A gingival graft solves these problems. We take a thin piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth, to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. Then we place the gingival graft to cover the exposed portion of the root as well.

The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.
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