Soft Tissue Grafts
A problem that is commonly encountered is recession of the gums. This can expose the root surface at the neck of the tooth causing sensitivity particularly to cold food and drinks. The recession can also have a negative impact on how the teeth and gums look, particularly if the recession is visible when smiling. In some situations, the recession can be corrected with a soft tissue graft, also known as a connective tissue graft. A small piece of gum is taken from below the surface of the gum covering the palate which is then transplanted to the exposed root surface. This periodontal plastic surgical procedure is often combined with application of regenerative proteins such as EmdogainTM to encourage a firm attachment of the gum to the previous the exposed root surface1. Although complete root coverage is not always possible, the treatment is effective at increasing the thickness of the gum to prevent further recession.
In this example, the upper left lateral incisor and canine shall recession of the gum. One year after soft tissue grafting, the recession has been completely covered at the necks of both teeth.
1. Paulo S. G. Henriques, P.S.G., Pelegrine, A.A., Nogueira, A.A., Borghi, M.M. (2010) Application of subepithelial connective tissue graft with or without enamel matrix derivative for root coverage: a split-mouth randomized study 52; 463-471 doi; 10.2334/josnusd.52.463