Receding gums can jeopardize your oral health, dental comfort, and your appearance. When left untreated, periodontal disease and bone loss conspire to weaken the foundation of your smile. Also, the exposed tooth roots are very sensitive to hot and cold foods, are prone to developing cavities, and just don’t appear healthy.
Cosmetic gum surgery such as gum grafting (or root coverage) can be performed to restore the health and attractiveness of your gum line. The procedure is often performed on gums above the front teeth. Referred to as the “aesthetic zone,” dental work in this area requires a delicate touch and finely-honed surgical technique. It’s no wonder so many men and women have chosen Dr. Sheikh to perform their cosmetic gum surgery. They know that they can trust his years of experience.
Learn how you can benefit from the latest innovations in receding gums treatment: schedule an appointment with Dr. Azeem Sheikh at Brampton Dental Arts. Or, call 905-791-8768 to set up a consultation.
Candidates for Gum Grafting
I use gum tissue grafts to replace gum tissue that has receded from the teeth, exposing a significant amount of tooth root. Patients experience gum recession for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Periodontal disease
- Bone loss
- Developmental conditions
- Insufficient gum tissue due to tooth position, size, or shape
- Poor dental hygiene
- Expansion of the jaw or movement of the teeth with orthodontia (such as braces)
- Heavy bite force.
Individuals who can benefit from cosmetic gum surgery are those who may be bothered by the appearance of their receded gum line, especially if they have a high lip line. They may also be experiencing pain or sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages because of the exposed tooth roots.
Gum Grafting Benefits
My cosmetic gum surgery patients enjoy being able to smile with confidence again. Some benefits:
- Gum grafting allows me to plump and augment gum tissue in any area where the gum has receded away from the tooth, providing a more attractive smile.
- With gum grafting, I am able to halt gum recession and bone loss, preventing further dental problems by protecting exposed roots from decay.
- If only one area of your gum line has receded, gum grafting can make the gums appear more symmetrical and appealing.
- After gum grafting, most patients experience reduced tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, giving them more freedom to eat the foods they enjoy most.
The Procedure from Dr. Azeem Sheikh
Recent surgical innovations have made this procedure safer and more effective than ever before. For instance, in addition to donor tissue removed from the roof of the patient’s mouth, I can also use AlloDerm®, a human tissue derivative manufactured under standards of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. AlloDerm promotes tissue regeneration by teaming up with your body’s own regenerative process. This material is as safe to use as your own tissue – no disease transmission has been reported and less surgery is required.
During your cosmetic gum surgery, I first administer a local anesthetic. If the patient’s own tissue is being used, I carefully remove a small amount from the roof of the mouth. I then use an advanced technique to place the donor tissue or AlloDerm at the site of the gum recession. I call this a “tunnel” technique and I do just that, sliding the tissue graft inside a tunnel created by the patient’s own tissue. I then secure it using either an adhesive or stitches. The procedure can be performed for one tooth or several teeth.
Risks and Recovery
Grafting procedures have little risk – the procedure is usually very successful and healing times are relatively short. You will need to take extra care of the surgical area for several days until the grafted gum tissue has begun to heal. After recovery is complete, you will have a healthier looking smile and gain the freedom to speak and eat more comfortably.
There is some possibility of post-surgical complications, but I am able to minimize these with my special “tunnel” technique. These complications include: a visible scar line, mismatched color (causing a “patchy” appearance), insufficient gum coverage, or a bulky appearance.
Your treatment results may vary depending on the complexity of your case.
This procedure is typically needed for one of two reasons; either cosmetic or restorative. Crown lengthening can cosmetically improve the smile line by eliminating the “gummy” smile look. The restorative reason is to provide more tooth to be visible in the mouth so the tooth can be properly restored. When a tooth breaks off near the gum line or when decay occurs on the root surface crown lengthening is needed to properly restore the tooth. Crowns and/or bridges cannot be cemented with the edge of the crown near the bone, which is why crown lengthening is needed.
When performing a crown lengthening procedure, the gum and bone around the area needing treatment is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. For cosmetic procedures, one tooth can be treated to provide an even appearance at the gum line, or what we call the whole smile line can be treated to create a natural smile line.
If the procedure is needed to restore a tooth that is decayed or fractured near the bone, then the area around the defect is treated. The only other option would be extraction of the involved tooth.