Soft tissue augmentation is often necessary to combat gum recession. Periodontal disease, trauma, aging, aggressive brushing, thin tissue and poor tooth positioning all can contribute to gum recession which can lead to more severe tooth related problems and potentially loss of the tooth.
The main goal of soft tissue grafting is to reinforce the surrounding soft tissue thus slowing or stopping the recession process. Root coverage is possible but highly variable from case to case due to several local factors.
Soft Tissue Grafting – A human derived collagen matrix is placed underneath the soft tissue, which quickly coverts to the patients own tissue. This type of graft is most commonly used for thickening existing tissue as well as covering exposed root surfaces. A second surgical site in the patient mouth to obtain the donor tissue in not necessary.
Reasons for soft tissue grafting
Soft tissue grafting is an extremely versatile procedure that has many uses. Recent developments in dental technology have made soft tissue grafting more predictable and less intrusive. Here are some of the main benefits associated with soft tissue grafting treatment:
Increased comfort – Root exposure can cause substantial pain and discomfort. Eating hot, cold or even warm foods can cause severe discomfort. Soft tissue grafts cover the exposed root, thicken the tissue and decrease sensitivity and restore good health to the gum area.
Improved esthetics – Gum recession can cause the smile to look “toothy” or the teeth to appear uneven in size. Soft tissue grafting can be used in often in combination with esthetic crowns / veneer / other restorative treatment as a cosmetic procedure to re-augment the gums and overall smile.
Improved gum health – Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that can destroy soft tissue very rapidly. When used in combination with other treatment modalities, soft tissue grafting can halt tissue and bone loss, and protect exposed roots from further complications.
If you have any questions about soft tissue grafting, please ask your periodontist.