Gum recession is the loss of protective gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It can affect the tissue around a single tooth or around many teeth. Unlike periodontal disease, patients can typically identify when they have gum recession, such as when teeth appear longer or have changed color due to exposed roots. As recession progresses, the softer aspect of the tooth is exposed to the elements. Continuing wear of the tooth makes the nerve within the tooth more vulnerable to inflammation. In some cases, gum recession is a precursor to a more serious problem, such as periodontal disease.
Previously, gum recession was treated using soft tissue grafts, which were performed by harvesting tissue from the roof of the mouth. With new developments in periodontal care, 95% of gum recession cases can now be treated with a tissue-like material known as a regenerative matrix.
Introduced in 1994, regenerative matrix materials were originally developed to treat burn victims. Today it is widely used in plastic reconstructive surgery in both medicine and dentistry. This procedure eliminates the need to do surgery on a second site in the mouth to harvest patient’s own tissue, allows more than one tooth at a time to be treated, and eliminates the possibility of bleeding. Regenerative matrix materials deliver a highly predictable treatment with better, faster healing. To achieve these results, readily available donor tissue replaces damaged gum tissue. The donor tissue undergoes stringent screening processes identical to those of other implantable tissue or organs. It also must pass rigid guidelines set forth by the FDA.