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FAQ:  Receding Gums



Normal Recession
Self Diagnosis Symptom List
Anatomy of gum recession
Tissue Grafting
Treating Periodontal Disease

Videos
Tunnel Grafts - Growing New Gum Tissue
Popular Treatment Choices
Gum Recession - An Anatomy
Tissue Harvesting for Gum Surgery


Receding Gums Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Smokeless Tobacco Gum Damage - Fix Receding Gums: I had a question about receding gum lines.

I use to use dip (smokeless tobacco) for a couple years but have stopped a number of months ago. My gum line near the front of my mouth has receded quite a bit from using it.

Will it heal normally, can dental work fix it, or is the damage permanent? ... Visitor from OH

Answer:
I can't tell without seeing you, but I think that your gum recession is permanent and will not heal without treatment.

The good news is that you have stopped the smokeless tobacco that most likely caused this problem. Most smokeless tobacco products also have sugar in them, so you need to check for decay, also.

You will most likely need gum grafting. A dental specialist in gum disease, a periodontist, will take tissue from the roof of your mouth and attach it to the gum in the area of recession. Most periodontists will attach the tissue on top of the existing tissue.

Tissue Harvesting Demonstration

Gingival Tissue Grafts
To see an example of live surgery for tissue harvesting click on the first picture on the right. A periodontist carefully removes tissue from the roof of the mouth to repair a receding gum. Harvested tissue eliminates problems that sometimes can occur with donated graft material.

You can watch the actual grafting surgery, on the same patient, by clicking on the 2nd photo.

There is a relatively new method of performing this surgery called the tunnel technique. Instead of placing the tissue on the gum and hoping that the graft will take, this method pushes some healthy tissue up on the tooth and inserts the graft under the good tissue so that it starts with a good blood supply.

You might see if anybody in your area is able to perform this technique.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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