Gum Recession from Periodontitis – Treatment in California

gum lift caThe condition that most often underlies most gum recession problems is periodontitis, a genetic inflammatory disease condition associated infection caused by certain kinds of oral bacteria (periodontal pathogens). An aberration or glitch in the immune system leads to destruction of the connective tissue (gums and bone) supporting the teeth by one’s own inflammatory process. White blood cells, instead of aiding the immune system to destroy infection-causing bacteria, undergo a process that results in the destruction of bone and gums. This process affects the gum line and causes the gums to recede. When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth are exposed. When the protective surface of the roots, called cementum, is worn away by over-brushing or decay, the teeth will become hypersensitive to cold and touch.

What can be done to restore the gum line to its normal position? First of all, the possible causes of gum recession must be dealt with. Proper brushing habits must be taught and learned. Bite guards should be worn consistently, if clenching and grinding is habitual. Periodontitis must be treated and then controlled by good home care followed by regular dental maintenance visits as prescribed.

Secondly, a “root coverage” procedure can be considered. There are a variety of surgical procedures to restore the gum line to its original position. The “gold standard” is the “connective tissue graft.” This method incorporates two separate procedures. First, a thin piece of tissue is removed or “harvested” from the palate. Since this tissue comes from the patient, it is called an “autogenous” graft. The second part of this method requires a surgical procedure that makes a tissue flap. A flap is made by an incision extending from the recession site the adjacent teeth. Then the gums are “elevated” or peeled away from the underlying gum or bone. This filleting effect allows for a “pouch” in the gum into which the graft tissue is placed and stitched or sutured into place.

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