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Root Coverage Procedure
When recession of the gingiva 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 necessary.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession breaks past the gum attachment to the tooth, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance to the gum and tooth. Gum recession, when significant, can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface. The root surface is softer than enamel and this can lead to root decay and root damage.
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is gently transferred from an adjacent area to resupply a stable band of gum tissue around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable healthy band of gum tissue around the tooth.