The Stability of A Treatment Option For Receding Gums

Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away in a direction toward the end of the root, exposing more of the tooth. Receding gums may be one of the first signs of gum disease. When gum recession occurs, "pockets," or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.
 
Gum recession is a common dental problem. Most people do not know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal. Often a notch can be felt at the top of the tooth, just below the gum line.
 
Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.
 
Tufts dental researchers conducted a three-year follow-up study that examined the stability of a treatment option for receding gums and found that complete root coverage the goal of the surgery had been maintained. This specific tissue regeneration application, developed at Tufts, reduces the considerable pain and recovery time of gum grafting surgery. The case study of six patients is published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Periodontology.
 
"Patients have a less invasive treatment option for receding gums and we now have evidence to support the stability of this relatively painless procedure. Instead of leaving the dental office with stitches in the roof of their mouth, a patient leaves with a small bandage on the arm that can be removed in an hour," said Terrence Griffin, DMD, associate professor, chair of the department of periodontology, and director of postdoctoral periodontology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.
 
"One of our previous research studies showed that all of the post-operative bleeding and most of the post-operative pain were related to the gum tissue removed from the roof of the mouth for use as a graft," he continued.
 
Traditional gum grafting surgery requires surgically excising tissue from the roof of the mouth (the palate) to replace the gum tissue lost around the teeth.
 
"Gum disease affects most American adults and research is linking periodontal disease to other health problems, including heart disease. Encouraging patients to undergo surgery to fix receding gums can be difficult because the mere thought of this dental surgery is often associated with considerable pain. This treatment, while only marginally more expensive for the patient, is more time-consuming and technically more difficult for us but the end result improved esthetics, reduced pain, and, most importantly, improved oral health for the patient make it a valuable and important alternative," said Griffin.
 
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