Periodontal plastic surgery procedures include a variety of methods for either replacing lost gum tissue or removing excess gum tissue, to help you successfully improve both your smile and the health of your teeth.
Gum Tissue Grafting:
When the recession of the gum tissue occurs, the body loses a natural defense against bacterial penetration and trauma. Gum recession often leaves the exposed roots sensitive to temperatures and cold food. In addition, the root(s) is not covered with enamel and is softer than the tooth surface. This makes the roots more susceptible to decay.
When the recession is minimal (1-2mm) some healthy tissue often remains to protect the tooth and underlying structures. In most cases, no treatment other than modifying your home care techniques is needed. When the tissue has receded more than 2mm into the mucosa or the soft tissue lining of the lips and cheeks, the first line of defense is gone. Tissue reconstruction using grafting techniques needs to be considered.
A gingival graft procedure is designed to remedy these problems. A thin piece of tissue is obtained from either the roof of the mouth (autograft) or a donor (allograft) and placed in the area of tissue recession in such a way as to provide for as much root coverage as possible. This procedure will provide a stable band of healthy gum tissue around the tooth.
At a Glance
Common causes and situations where Gum Tissue Grafting might be an option:
Causes of Gum Recession
- Plaque build-up and the presence of Periodontal Disease
- Using a hard toothbrush in the past and overly aggressive home care practices
- Orthodontic treatment in the past
- Trauma to the gums
- Use of cigarettes or other tobacco products
- Genetics or a family history of gum disease
Why is it important to treat recession?
- To replace the body’s natural defense against bacterial invasion and damage to the teeth
- Prevent root sensitivity
- Correct an unattractive smile
- Repair a loss of supporting bone and reduce the mobility of the tooth
- Prevent tooth decay
- Reduce the risk of future recession and tooth loss
There are two different situations that crown lengthening would be beneficial. Functional Crown Lengthening and Esthetic Crown Lengthening
Functional Crown Lengthening
When decay occurs or a tooth breaks below the gum line, your dentist may request a crown lengthening procedure before he or she can complete your restoration. A crown lengthening procedure is designed to give your dentist more tooth surface on which to place a restoration or crown by removing a small amount of tissue and bone around the tooth. A periodontist performs this surgical procedure to allow your dentist the ability to place the crown margin at the gum line, not below, making it easier for you to clean.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening
For people who are unhappy with their smiles, or feel they have a “gummy smile”, Esthetic Crown Lengthening can make a world of difference.
When teeth appear short or uneven, it is often because there is too much gum tissue covering the teeth. People can sometimes feel this is unsightly and try not to smile because of it.
During the crown lengthening procedure, the excess gum tissue is removed and the underlying bone is precisely contoured to expose more of the natural tooth, creating longer teeth and a more attractive smile. This procedure creates better symmetry and balance, thus enhancing your natural smile.
This is a very simple cosmetic procedure with incredible changes you can see that very same day!
An additional treatment for a gummy smile is a procedure called Lip Re-positioning.
This is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure which removes excess tissue from inside the mouth underneath the top lip and keeps the lip from moving so far up on smiling. This also helps to treat a thin lip, bringing fullness to the upper lip and an improved confidence on smiling. This can be performed alone, or in combination with Esthetic Crown Lengthening, based on your individual needs and goals.
Please call us if you are interested in a consultation to find out how you can enhance your natural smile!