Two types of tissue surround teeth − attached and mucosal.
- Attached tissue is the firm, pink tissue close to the teeth and is vital in maintaining health around the teeth.
- Mucosal tissue is loose, thin and located further away from the teeth.
When the gums recede, there is loss of the attached tissue. This can compromise the health of the tissue and lead to bone problems around the teeth.
Treatment for loss of attached tissue is most commonly performed using a connective tissue graft. The attached tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and moved to the area where the tissue defect exists. The area which donates the tissue will heal. The tissue graft procedure helps rebuild some of the lost tissue to maintain health of the gums and teeth.
The photos on the right show recession around the upper incisors. Ten days following the connective tissue graft, the tissue has been restored, and the gums and teeth are showing a healthier appearance.
In this view, the lower central incisor has significant recession and marginal tissue.
Lateral Pedicle Graft
In a lateral pedicle graft, attached tissue is taken from the area immediately beside the area where the tissue defect exists. The individual on the right has experienced tissue loss around the root of a lower front tooth.
Soft Tissue Graft
Receding gums signal a loss of attached tissue. This compromises the health of the tissue and leads to bone problems around the teeth. When there is inadequate gum remaining to help support a tooth, or excessive recession has occurred supporting the root of the tooth, a soft tissue graft may be performed. Gum tissue is taken from the patient’s palate or another donor to cover the exposed root. Soft tissue grafts can protect roots from decay, reduce tooth sensitivity, and improve the appearance of your smile.