Gum disease comes in many forms, one of which is gum or root recession also known as root exposure. This is a disease or pathological process that is characterized by visible roots, sensitivity to cold or touch, and in extreme cases, loose teeth. Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Exposed tooth roots resulting from gum recession is multifactorial. Your gums may have receded for a variety of reasons, to include: aggressive tooth brushing, thin gingival tissue, post-orthodontic treatment, and genetic predisposition. The Implant & Laser Periodontal Surgery Center has unique and less invasive way to correct disease and gum recession.
Significant concerns regarding root recession as a result of gum disease are as follows (least to most important):
- Tooth sensitivity to cold stimuli or touch
- Loss of a "firm collar" of tissue around the neck of the tooth that functions as a protective mechanism for the underlying bone
- Root caries, or cavities in the roots
Roots are porous in nature, much like a sponge. They have holes and tunnels in them, called tubules that, when exposed by gums disease, accumulate food particles, by-products and bacteria. This invasion very rapidly results in loss of mineralization of the tooth, and cavities invade the root when it is exposed.
A firm band of tissue called "attached tissue" is usually attached to a root and provides a cinching affect around the teeth, much like a tie around a neck, to protect foreign material from getting down between the teeth and gums thus infecting the bone. This important protection is lost with gum disease and recession. Therefore, when the bone is exposed to foreign materials, it recedes to protect itself along with the gum. This provides for significant loss of bone support which may lead to the loss of the tooth or teeth.
We incorporate the most advanced, least invasive technologies for the correction of gum recession caused by gum disease. Sometimes we can simply pull the gum up or down to cover the root. With more advanced recession we incorporate either gum transplants or acellular dermal tissue into our therapy to cover the exposed root, and therefore cure the five reasons given above that accompany gum recession caused by gum disease. The procedure we use is well documented, but is less commonly used due to the time and technical skill required to perform the procedure. The procedure is the most advanced, minimally-invasive, most comfortable and quickest gum disease healing procedure to date due to the minimal disruption of blood flow. There are few incisions or "stitches" after the procedure. During this procedure everything is done underneath the gum, much like laparoscopy, so there is little manipulation of the tissue resulting in faster healing. Most of the time the procedure takes 20-45 minutes to complete for one tooth or longer for multiple teeth.
Do you have a gummy smile or do your front teeth appear too small?
If so, you may benefit from an Esthetic Smile Enhancement procedure. Excessive gums, more commonly termed the "gummy smile", can be simply, quickly and comfortably corrected using LASER therapy or traditional periodontal surgery. Healing is usually complete in just a few days, and no adjustment to activity level or diet is necessary.
Similar to Crown Lengthening, we enhance your smile by removing excess gum tissue, and if needed, excess bone to help reshape the contours of the gums by exposing the underlying hidden tooth structure. For many patients, we make their teeth appear more age appropriate by giving them a more complete smile. Why you ask? A smile is a very important part of a person – it displays confidence and beauty. Most of the time, we think about our teeth-shape, color or length-when we are talking about a smile. The gums however, are a very important part of a smile as well. If you show too much gum when you smile it will make your teeth appear small, or give you the appearance of a long face, so the proportions are not correct. For these reasons, some people hide their "confidence and beauty". If you are concerned about the amount of gum that you show, or the size and shape of your teeth, we have good news for you! Our smile enhancement procedures are painless solutions for developing the smile of your dreams. These procedures are usually quick and easy, and provide immediate results.
Orthodontic Tooth Uncovering
Many of our patients that are undergoing orthodontic (braces) treatment have one or more teeth that didn't erupt out of the gum tissue. In order to help the orthodontist, the surgeon exposes the tooth and connects a bracket and a small chain to the tooth. Then the patient returns to their orthodontist to start moving the tooth into its permanent location so it can be aligned with the other teeth.