Gum recession is a very common problem. It can cause cold sensitivity on the exposed roots. In severe cases, it can lead to bone loss causing the tooth to loosen and eventually loss of the entire tooth. The recession can be caused by improper tooth brushing, thin gum tissue, abnormal muscle pull, or trauma. The good news is that we now have surgical techniques that will allow the gum to be rebuilt close to the original level. The procedure involves harvesting a piece of gum tissue from the roof of the mouth, stripping the top layer of gum tissue in the affected area, then suturing the new piece in place. After a few weeks of healing, the tissue looks almost as good as the original. Aftercare is extremely important to keep the problem from recurring. Very careful use of a toothbrush in the area is a must.
The procedure is usually performed by a periodontist, a specialist in treating the gums. If you going to have this procedure done, ask the surgeon to make a surgical stent to cover the roof of your mouth. This area can be extremely painful if left exposed. The feedback that I have had from my patients is that they have been extremely grateful that the roof of their mouth was covered. This made their healing time much more uneventful.