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Gum Diseases

Treatment of Gum Recession

06/29/2010

Question:

I have receding gums on my lower front teeth. I had a consult with a periodontist who advised having the gum grafts done. I have not been able to find any information about studies done on this procedure. My main questions are: what will happen if a graft is not done? Can I lose my teeth? Also, how long will the graft last? Thank you for your reply!

Answer:

There are couple of indications for this surgery to be performed:

1- It causes pain, sensitivity. Thus, the patient is in discomfort.
2- There is active infection going on due to not being able to brush the area. Thus, we know that it will get worst if we do not do it.
3- Patient does not like the way his/her teeth look with exposed roots. This is an esthetic indication.
4- Patient has a starting carries on root surface. Soft tissue grafting is biologically friendlier compared to restorative materials.

To answer your question, if you are able to clean the area, if you have no pain, no sensitivity and you are a regular patient who cares about their teeth and go to dentist for routine check-ups; it may stay stable. If you continue loosing attachment and you have progressing type of recession, yes you can loose your tooth.
After graft surgery, soft tissue graft will not go anywhere. But, you may have progressing disease if you do not continue with routine check-ups. In addition, recession sometimes happens due to wrong brushing technique too. So if this is your problem and you are not changing your brushing technique, you may develop this problem again.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University