When recession of the gingiva occurs, the tooth loses its natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices as tooth brushing technics is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost than gum grafting would be required. The purpose of this procedure is to restore the original gums of the tooth that act as a defense barrier against bacterial plaque daily tooth brushing and food friction against the gums during normal chewing.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an elongated tooth with an undesirable appearance to the patient. Specially this could be obvious to the patient in his or her smile at the front anterior teeth (Esthetic Zone) . When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root abrasion .
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.