Although not really classified as a disease process, the second most common gum issue is recession of the gums, leading to exposure of tooth roots, sensitivity, decay, and esthetic issues. This isn’t generally due to infection, although it can be. Causes of recession are traumatic tooth brushing, tooth clenching and grinding, orthodontic treatment, thin gum tissue, tooth wear, and there may also be a genetic or diet component as well. Of course prevention is best, and all people should use a soft tooth brush and use a circular rather than sawing motion with the brush. Pressing hard with an electric tooth brush is also an issue. Bite guards are the best way to deal with clenching and grinding, and teeth with thin gums should be grafted before orthodontic treatment. After the recession has occurred, there are a variety of procedures for recovering the roots and preventing future problems. These include repositioned flaps, grafts (from the patient, synthetic, or from human tissue banks), and orthodontic treatment to reposition teeth back within the bony housing. If grafts are necessary, we have a variety of techniques for best addressing the particular issue that your condition presents. While you may see one or another grafting technique promoted on dental websites, the truth of the matter is that no one procedure is best to treat all recession issues. Periodontists are trained in many techniques and have the best judgement and experience to recommend the optimum procedure for your particular condition.
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