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Surgical treatment for receding gums

Last week, we shared information on common causes for gum recession and the first step in treatment for gum recession. But when root scaling and planing doesn’t do enough, how can receding gums be treated further?

You do have some surgical options that Dr. Brazdo can discuss with you. Your surgical options include:

  • Pocket depth reduction: During this procedure, the dentist or periodontist folds back the affected gum tissue, removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets, and then secures the gum tissue in place over the tooth root, thus eliminating the pockets that have developed between the gums and the teeth (or reducing the size of such pockets).
  • Regeneration: If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed as a result of gum recession, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended. As in pocket depth reduction, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.
  • Soft tissue graft: There are several types of gum tissue graft procedures, but the most commonly used one is called a connective tissue graft. Tissue that lies above the palate in the roof of your mouth can be removed and used in place of the missing gums. Sometimes, tissue can be taken directly from the roof of the mouth for such a procedure. In some cases, a pedicle graft is possible (this requires sufficient excess gum tissue near the affected tooth).

Dr. Brazdo first works with patients to prevent this severity of gum recession and then takes the first step of root planing and scaling to slow down and reverse the conditions causing gum recession. When surgery is required, Dr. Brazdo can recommend the best course of action based on your specific oral health care needs.